Careers at Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology

At Sulllivan Nicolaides Pathology we have a wide range of career opportunities available, from medical and scientific roles such as pathologists, scientists and lab technicians to support roles such as courier drivers, specimen collectors, IT and administration staff.  

In joining us you will become part of a medical testing laboratory network extending from Darwin and Cairns throughout Queensland to the Northern Rivers area of New South Wales. You will also become part of the even larger network of our parent company, Sonic Healthcare Limited, which is Australia’s largest pathology group and one of the largest in the world.

Since our foundation in 1956, we have continued a culture that strives to attract the best talent, provides job fulfilment and drives innovation.  

We are an equal opportunity employer.

We invite you to apply for suitable currently advertised positions.

View available positions

An organisation such as Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology is a community in itself. Although it covers such a vast area- 3.5 million square kilometres-across Queensland, Northern New South Wales and the Northern Territory, the SNP workforce is linked by shared goals and experiences.

About 2500 people work for SNP, including just under 100 pathologists, specialists and general practitioners, together with 900 scientists and technicians, nearly 1000 patient services personnel, including couriers and collectors, and about 400 administrative and support staff working in 24 laboratories and more than 495 collection centres.

The world of Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology is made up of a wide range of jobs from the most visible -collectors and couriers - to the behind-the-scenes pathologists, scientists, laboratory technicians and laboratory assistants. And behind this is the support staff without whom, the organisation simply couldn't run - data entry teams, technical support engineers, media/assay production staff, quality control, doctor services, doctor's IT teams, database control, patient services and the supply/purchase department.

Then there are the people who support the staff-accounts and payroll, library, essential services, training and professional development, and health and safety.

Many people have been with the company for 30 years, some for even longer. They joined when Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology was in its infancy not long after 1956, when Drs John Sullivan and Nick Nicolaides started a small pathology practice to service local families around Brisbane. Many people have moved through the organisation over the decades handling a range of different jobs in different areas. They know the practice inside out and have grown with it over the years.

Now that Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology is part of the Sonic Healthcare Group - the only truly global diagnostic pathology and radiology organisation - staff have the opportunity to work across Australia and overseas.

Welcome to the world of the medical laboratory. It's a world of technology, science, and mystery, where medical laboratory professionals and pathologists find answers to questions that are both routine and miraculous. Does this tissue sample contain cancer? What can this woman's blood tell us about her health? Is this unborn child developing normally? Is this drug effectively stopping the infection? Why did this man die?

In the laboratory, a highly skilled team of pathologists, specialists, medical technologists and technicians work together to solve the mysteries, put the puzzles together, and answer the critical questions of medicine. More than 70 percent of medical decisions made by doctors are based on laboratory findings. In fact, the practice of modern medicine would be impossible without the tests performed in the laboratory.

Pathologists and medical laboratory professionals are the behind-the-scenes backbone of medicine. Their field of exploration covers a vast area, from human anatomy to the genetic and molecular particles that affect it. They are the researchers, the investigators, and some say the real heroes of medicine.

Laboratory procedures require an array of complex precision instruments and a variety of automated and electronic equipment. However, people who are interested in helping others are the foundation of a successful laboratory. They must be accurate, reliable, passionate about science and be able to recognise their responsibility for human lives.

For someone who chooses a career as a pathologist or laboratory professional, the exploration and the rewards are endless. (From the American Society for Clinical Pathology (tm)).

Pre Analytical - Data Entry and Specimen Reception Area

In Specimen Reception Area (SRA) you will find the people who register the specimen, and its identifying information, and enter them into the laboratory information system. When specimens need to be shared between departments for testing they are prepared here. The people who work here have to be accurate and cool headed, and be able to deal with the busy times of the day when samples are coming in thick and fast.

Once the specimen is registered the rest of the accompanying information - usually the request forms sent by the referring doctors or collectors - are entered into the computer system. Like all other jobs in pathology, data entry operators have to have excellent attention to detail skills coupled with amazing dexterity to enable them to accurately record the data. Their role is crucial to the whole pathology testing operation.

Quality Systems

The Quality Systems department manages the quality framework implemented across Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology. This framework includes related policies and procedures, the internal audit program, incident management, document and records management, and regulatory requirements for accreditation. The quality team coordinates and monitors the accreditations held by the organisation and liaises with external regulatory bodies. 

Database Control

Updating and maintenance of the hospital and doctor databases are vital to ensure that all guidelines are met in accordance with Medicare Australia legislation and the Medicare Benefits Schedule. Without having the correct doctor, patient and Medicare information, it is impossible to deliver reports to the right doctor and accurately bill the patient.

Network IT Support

Like all modern organisations, Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology depends on its computer technology for all its communications. The Network IT Support team provides troubleshooting assistance for all desk top computers and the telephone system throughout the organisation.

Doctor IT Services

The majority of test results are sent to doctors using Fetch and Sonic Dx - proprietary application software developed by Sonichealthcare Ltd which delivers pathology reports electronically to the client's system for review.  The Dr IT Services team provide installation and ongoing technical support to general practice and specialist clinics and hospitals using these applications.

Library Services

The Bowen Hills library co-ordinates and arranges journal subscriptions, book orders and provides support for staff in their research.

Workplace Health and Safety

This service provides specific advice to managers and employees on health, safety, equal opportunity and rehabilitation.

Communicating with Doctors

The Doctor Service Centre provides doctors with a one-stop-shop for all enquiries. This can be anything and everything from ordering stores, obtaining additional results, requesting subsequent tests for patients based on the results of previous tests, lodging complaints and much more. They are the team who understands the meaning of excellence in customer service and they strive to make the experience for the doctor exceed his or her expectations.

The territory managers are the coal face between the doctors and Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology. They keep in regular contact with, and meet the doctors, to identify opportunities for continuous improvement. They also visit doctors and nurses in hospitals to educate them in the latest regulatory requirements and tests procedures and make sure that they are receiving the services that they need to deliver excellence in patient care. Territory managers come from various backgrounds and all are specialists in their fields: nurses and collectors, lab technicians and IT technicians.

Marketing

The marketing team produces the external publications and coordinates the educational activities that deliver medical education to doctors and patients.

Professional Development and Training

This is the unit responsible for developing formal training programs for the SNP staff. The courses include a wide range of subjects and cover laboratory and non laboratory areas, in both face-to-face and online programs. 

Essential Services

This is the department responsible for ensuring that everything runs smoothly-air conditioning, electrical equipment, plumbing, building maintenance. It is also responsible for the fit out of new collection centres, laboratories and offices, and refurbishment of existing facilities so that both staff and patients are comfortable during the pathology experience.

The Supply Department

This department coordinates the purchase and distribution of consumables for the practice. As a central service, they coordinate the ordering, processing and distribution of all supplies for every campus of the organisation including the 22 laboratory campuses and 220 collection centres. They the drivers of lean engineering, ensuring that all areas of the organisation run smoothly.

Commercial Services

Human resource management, accounting, payroll, paying bills, signing leases, auditing, it's all in a days work for the commercial services team. Lead by a team of accountants and financial wizards, the team keeps the finances in order. No mean feat, when considering leases alone, the organisation maintains >300. The team provides all accounting services including accounts payable and receipting. The payroll team processes salaries and wages.
 

Pathologist

Pathologists are the interface between medical science and clinical practice and they frequently interact with both areas. Pathologists often find themselves applying the knowledge gained from recent developments in medical research to real-life situations. They have undertaken many years of training and have a medical degree followed by substantial post graduate specialist qualifications. They have high-level skills in investigating diseases and interpreting test results. Part of the job is to use their professional judgement to advise GPs and medical specialists about the test results and their implications for diagnosis and treatment. Many pathologists are clinicians and have their own consultancies treating patients; many are involved in research work.
Clinical testing generally follows a hierarchical system of review, with scientists and laboratory technicians conducting basic tests, abnormal results being put to a senior scientist for review, and ultimately to the pathologist for interpretation.

Laboratory manager

The laboratory manager must have the right combination of people skills, business knowledge, and technical experience to coordinate the work of the various laboratory personnel. Their days are varied and challenging. They appoint employees, prepare budgets, organise work schedules, and order laboratory supplies and equipment. The laboratory manager ensures that quality control systems are effective and works with the pathologist to make sure that the quality of work conducted in the laboratory meets the highest standards.

Scientist

The scientist and senior scientist have tertiary bachelor degrees in science and often post graduate qualifications in a particular specialist area. They need to be conversant with a wide body of knowledge relating to their area of specialty.
They are continually called upon to use their judgement in interpreting test results while performing tests and managing quality control programs.

Laboratory technician

Like scientists, laboratory technicians have tertiary qualifications, usually an associate diploma. These are professionals who choose to work at "the bench" experiencing the "hands-on" technical work that is performed on a daily basis. They need to be natural enquirers and have a passion for science. Monitoring quality control programs in the laboratory is an important part of the job.

Pathology specimen collector

Based in the many suburban and hospital-based collection centres, these professionals are the shop front of SNP. A collector has to be technically competent and reliable but also be able to put patients at ease and be compassionate. Their job is to take blood from patients, take delivery of samples and process them ready to be picked up by couriers. All staff undertake comprehensive in-house training. 
The Patient Services Support Centre provides telephone support for collection staff. It also assists patients with information on opening hours, pre-collection preparation for certain tests, centre locations, patient account queries and general enquiries.

Laboratory Assistant

Laboratory assistants are job-trained to support the scientists and technicians. They prepare specimens for analysis and set up tests which the scientists and technicians later review and interpret. Because today's laboratories are highly computerised, the laboratory technician or assistant must be a trouble-shooter who knows how the equipment works. They need an up-to-date knowledge of a wide range of tests.

Courier

SNP runs a fleet of courier cars servicing doctors' rooms, hospitals and collection centres. They pick up specimens and deliver reports and supplies. Couriers can be either on the road driving the distinctive white, blue and red cars, or on foot delivering reports and collecting samples in a hospital or medical precinct.
The transport section coordinates the delivery of goods to and from the warehouses. This section also coordinates the commercial courier (air and road) network across the states and regions ensuring specimens from far away places reach the lab safely for testing.

We are a practice of over 2500 employees and collect specimens each day from an area equivalent to half the land mass of the European Union (3,788,027km2). We are justifiably proud of our medically ethical standards and the commitment displayed by our employees in providing service excellence.

There are many benefits enjoyed by eligible employees, which include:
  • Flexible shift arrangements, as many areas of SNP provide service over a wide spread of hours
  • Providing greater flexibility in hours available to work
  • Opportunities for working part-time
  • Help balance work with family commitments or outside interests

Additional benefits for continuous shift rosters

If on continuous shift rosters, staff are entitled to:

  • Additional week of annual leave after 12 months of service
  • Any overtime performed is at double time
  • Penalty rates of 75% for work done between midnight and 0500

Access to more time off
  • TOIL (Time off in lieu)
  • Parental leave with paid maternity/adoption leave available
  • One weeks' long service leave in 8th, 9th and 10th year of service
  • Cashing out of personal leave (sick leave) which may be converted to time off

Career opportunities
  • Career opportunities within Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology and the Sonic group
  • Career progression with associated pay increases through our structured classification system
  • Teaching links to universities and TAFE colleges
  • Involvement with professional societies and organisations

Professional development
  • In-house training programmes for new staff
  • Support for conference attendance and presentations
  • Access to study leave and continuing education programs
  • Active workplace health and safety training programs

Promoting well-being
  • Free vaccinations
  • Employee assistance program*
  • Medicare rebates for pathology and radiography
  • Rebate for nicotine replacement therapy (QUIT programme)

*Employee Assistance Program

Professional, confidential and fully independent counselling service available to all staff and their immediate family members.
Aims to assist with the resolution of personal and work related problems that may affect a staff member's work performance or their quality of life.
Up to four counselling sessions per year available at no cost to any staff member wishing to use this service.
Immediate family members wishing to use this service may also, receive free sessions out of the staff member's annual allocation. This service is completely confidential.
Assure Programs counsellors are available Australia wide.

 

Other benefits
  • Cashing out of personal leave
  • Christmas gifts for staff

Participative employment relations
  • With staff representatives, management and unions involved in discussing employment conditions and issues