Being in the lab is where all the magic happens, says lab scientist Bethan

Bethan Davies, Forensic Science and Analytical Science graduate

Bethan Davies from Newport studied BSc (Hons) Forensic Science and MSc Analytical and Forensic Science at USW.

She is now a Laboratory Scientist for Synergy Health Laboratory Services, where her main role is testing hair, urine and saliva samples for traces of drugs and alcohol.

“It had always been an ambition of mine to pursue a career in the chemistry industry. In school, I enjoyed learning about law and the justice system and when I discovered Forensic Science, I realised I could turn my passions and interests into a job. 

To study Forensics you need to be passionate, dedicated and factual. Science is not just for boys, it’s for anyone who is interested in learning about the world.

Because science is always changing, I am never bored. I have the chance to learn new skills and challenge myself every day.

Being in the lab is where all the magic happens! It's a behind-the-scenes role, but it's here that you appreciate where the results come from, and the effort that is required to get them. Yes, it's time consuming, but it’s worth every second.

As a Laboratory Scientist in the Toxicology section, I test hundreds of samples a week from a variety of customers, and these samples include hair, urine and saliva. It’s such an interesting job. Hair testing, for instance, is an accepted method for assessing drug use, especially over long periods. Analysis of hair for drugs is useful in legal cases (paternity and custody cases), long term assessment of drug users on rehabilitation programmes or possibly for random or pre-employment testing. 

I love what I do. I work in a fast-paced area, alongside a team of talented scientists. What I enjoy most about it is that I can put everything I learnt throughout university into practice, especially my practical lab skills."