After graduating from Gilroy Santa Maria College in Ingham, Sebastian Sproats was keen to get away from north Queensland and see another part of the world.
“I graduated in 2009 and went on exchange near Chicago, USA, for 10 months. I missed the country and rural aspect of Townsville and Ingham. I was thinking of studying in Brisbane, but I saw all my friends were enjoying their time at JCU, so I chose to go there as well.”
After completing his Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences at JCU, Sebastian decided to continue his studies into a Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science.
“Biomedical Science is generally more research-oriented. In the last year of Medical Laboratory Science you get clinical experience. We also get to practice slide-making, blood typing, using the biochemistry analysers and processing tissues for histology.”
“We cover anything that comes from your body. We focus a lot on haematology, microbiology, clinical biochemistry and histology. We also learn about transfusions, blood banking, basic sciences, physiology and genetics.”
As a Medical Laboratory Science student, Sebastian gets to go on two six-week placements in his final year. He has gained practical experience at The Townsville Hospital and Mackay Base Hospital.
“Going on placement has been the highlight of my study. I’ve enjoyed seeing where all the practical stuff we do in class fits in with the whole patient service and outcome. It’s also great to see how hospitals network with other clinics, especially since Townsville is such a big hub up north. It puts a whole new perspective into how the Queensland health system is run.”
In his spare time, Sebastian is actively involved in campus life as a Student Mentor Leader, a rugby league player, a member of his college’s Student Committee and as the Treasurer for the Biomedical and Medical Laboratory (BMML) Society.
“I think it’s necessary to do something at university other than study, otherwise you’ll go insane. University isn’t a means to an end, it’s part of a continual process – you need to have fun while you’re young otherwise you’ll regret it later.”
Once he finishes his Medical Laboratory Science degree, Sebastian aims to sit the GAMSAT exam and would ultimately like to study Medicine at JCU. Eventually, he would like to own run his own practice.
“When you study Medical Laboratory Science, you can learn medicine from a whole new perspective, focusing on the science. However, if you feel like you don’t want to be a doctor you can just as easily have a rewarding career out of helping people without having to do patient-focussed work. Medical scientists are an essential part of the health care team.”