Sonya Angus, phlebotomy manager

Can you describe what you do day-to-day?

I’ve worked at Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals for 22 years and in phlebotomy for 3 years. No two days are ever the same.

We are a team of 13 phlebotomists at Royal Brompton Hospital and we specialise in collecting blood samples from patients to diagnose or monitor their condition. My role as phlebotomy manager is to oversee staff and the service we provide. My day-to-day responsibilities include managing staff and preparing the rotas, carrying out routine rounds in clinical areas, and ensuring that all policies and procedures are up to date.

I also manage the haematology administrative office where I ensure various administrative tasks are completed.

As remote testing lead, I oversee the remote service which we introduced in January 2021 to allow patients to carry out certain tests at home instead of having to come to the hospital.

Image of Sonya Angus

What motivates you to wake up and go to work? 

My team motivate me to come into work each day. They are very talented and hardworking, and I saw this especially during the pandemic where they worked tirelessly to provide high-quality care for our patients. I have a very supportive line manager who listens to me and offers me support when needed. It’s also always nice to see and hear positive comments from patients as it makes a difference to staff morale when they receive recognition for their hard work.

Which part of your job is most challenging?

A big part of my job is managing a team. This often involves looking at the skillsets and attributes of each of my team members and assigning them to different tasks to not only adapt to the demands on our service, but also to help the team develop professionally. This aspect of my job can sometimes be challenging, but it’s something that I thoroughly enjoy.

Dealing with patients who don’t enjoy having blood samples taken can also be challenging, so it’s important that we provide reassurance and make them as comfortable as possible.

What is the best thing a patient has ever said to you?

One day, I was on the ward and there were three patients in a bay who all said that they were difficult to bleed. They jokingly challenged one of my phlebotomists, saying that there was no way she could collect any samples from them. The newly trained phlebotomist responded that she could and managed to collect their samples on the first attempt! The patients told me I had an excellent team of phlebotomists and the praise that my team member received from them was amazing.

What did you want to be when you were younger?

I really wanted to become a police officer, but my height at the time did not fit the criteria…

Why did you decide to work in healthcare?

I previously worked in the sports and leisure sector, but eventually I decided to seek employment within the healthcare sector. I didn’t have a clue what to expect, but I applied for my first role as a personal assistant at Royal Brompton Hospital and luckily I got the job! I’ve worked here ever since.