There are engineering technicians volunteering to work at field hospitals, pharmacy technicians working overtime, IT technicians keeping all our conference calls going and research technicians sequencing the DNA of the coronavirus to aid vaccine and treatment development.
However we also know that a lot of technicians, particularly in schools and universities, have had their working lives thrown into chaos. Tom from the University of Manchester wrote for us a few weeks ago on how he’s finding being a teaching technician without a lab.
But the can-do attitude of technicians, and the highly skilled nature of their jobs, means that thousands of technicians are stepping up to help the country during its biggest challenge since the second world war. There are far too many examples to give everyone the credit they deserve, but we’ve pulled together a few that we’ve spotted over the last few weeks. We hope it lifts your spirits in the same way it’s lifted ours.
Volunteering their skills to carry out Covid-19 tests
This week we have three interviews with technicians from The Francis Crick Institute who are working hard to process hundreds of covid-19 tests - read them all here:
Making protective face shields
A special shout out goes to Nicholas Little, an Orthodontic Dental Technician who has been using his spare time to make face visors for staff in his local NHS trust! Great work Nicholas.
We've seen technicians thinking outside the box for how to create more shields - including reaching out to schools! The University of Reading has been working with technical staff from local schools to produce over 20,000 masks. As Mark, Head of Design & Technology at one of the schools, said: “Not every superhero wears a cape, but they do all wear masks! It’s testament to the team how everyone has done their bit to make it happen. If it was just a one-man-band, like I started with, we would be producing tiny numbers. It’s such a community effort. I think everyone wants to play a part where they can.”
And at the University of Bath technical staff have now made over 45,000 pieces of PPE for the NHS!
This morning, our team of engineers and technicians in @bathenganddes marked a milestone. The team has now produced over 40,000 face shields for @NHSuk staff at @RUHBath.— University of Bath (@UniofBath) May 6, 2020
We're so proud and grateful for their work. 💙💛 #WeAreTogether #PPE #PPEforNHS pic.twitter.com/nwv1H79M6f
Donating PPE to the NHS
There must be absolutely no PPE left in any universities in the UK - lab technicians who have had their research projects paused are using their time to ship gloves, sanitizer and protective glasses to frontline workers. The biggest problem for technicians now is closing the door of the van when you've filled it so full...
Meanwhile at Waltham Forest College, Joanne the Fashion Technician has been making scrubs for the local hospital - keep up the good work Joanne!
Keep up the good work guys and stay safe!