A safe haven for Zahir; the personal story of a pathology professional

At Know Pathology Know Healthcare we love hearing the stories of those who make up the pathology workforce, performing life-saving tests every day and giving those all-important ‘all clear’ results.

On a recent visit to a NSW Health Pathology lab we were told about a technician with an interesting personal story and a passion for accuracy. We asked him to share a little of his story with us.

Zahir Yassin was born in Afghanistan in 1955. He came to Australia as a refugee in the 1980s with his family. This was a period when Afghanistan was in turmoil due to invasion and prolonged intervention by Soviet troops in the early 80s. There was conflict between Soviet forces and the mujahideen (local militias) that fought the Soviets using arms supplied by foreign governments including the UK and USA.

Zahir says: “There were many reasons I came to Australia; first of all mine and my family’s safety was my priority.

We just wanted to leave our war-torn country, we have seen enough killing, fighting and suffering there. I was lucky because I have a friend in Australia who was kind enough to sponsor us to come here as refugees.

We arrived in Australia on 27th July 1987 and we are glad that we came here because it is a beautiful, peaceful and loving country.”

Zahir now works as a Technical Officer in one of NSW Health Pathology’s labs which covers biochemistry, haematology, blood bank and CSR (Collection Specimen Reception – where samples are received and sorted).

He says he chose to work in pathology because he sees it as a “professional and rewarding career” and the best thing about the job for him is knowing he is part of an expert team providing on time and accurate pathology results for doctors and other medical professionals.

He said;

“My proudest moments working in pathology are being able to provide quick and accurate results for patients with life threatening conditions.”

His advice to others who may be on the path to a pathology career is; “Working in pathology is a highly professional job and my advice is to pay attention to the details of pathology testing; check and check again before verifying the results.”

Outside of work Zahir enjoys cooking and gardening and has some wise words to live by; “Life is always a challenge. Appreciate what you have, aim for the best and work hard. I have suffered a lot through my hard journey but I never give up.”