For those with a love of technology or science – and helping others in the process – a career in healthcare science offers many opportunities.

Healthcare scientists play a vital role in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. Whether it’s helping patients with hearing problems, analysing tissue samples, or researching how results from the human genome project can be translated into new treatments, these jobs are done by people whose expertise helps to save lives and improve care for millions of NHS users.

Rapid advances in technology mean this is now one of the most exciting, challenging and rewarding areas of the NHS.

Healthcare Science Disciplines at SWB include:

  • Audiology
  • Cardiac Physiology
  • Respiratory Physiology
  • Medical Engineering
  • Medical Illustration
  • Pathology – Haematology / Blood Transfusion, Histopathology, Biochemistry / Toxicology, Microbiology, Virology, Immunology
  • Visual Function
  • Neurophysiology
  • GI Physiology
  • Medical Physics and Nuclear Medicine
  • Radiopharmacy

Types of Training

There are three different types of role within Healthcare Science  – Assistant Practitioner, Clinical Practitioner and Scientist. Training programmes were rolled out for Scientists last year, and this year sees the start of the Clinical Practitioner training programme.

Students are allocated places nationally, so SWB play no part in the recruitment of trainees.

Skills required

As a healthcare scientist, you will use sophisticated equipment and techniques. At the same time, healthcare scientists are continually developing and testing more sophisticated technology and techniques. There is a huge variety of roles within healthcare science, some dealing with patients, and some are more laboratory based roles, each has its own specific skills required:

  • Interest in science and technology. Working as a healthcare scientist, you will need a good academic background and interest in scientific knowledge.
  • Good communication. You will need good communication skills to be able to liaise with the healthcare team and also to advise and reassure patients.
  • Comfortable using complex equipment. Healthcare Scientists work with technology and modern equipment.
  • Meticulous Attention to detail. You will need good powers of observation and you must pay close attention to detail and produce highly accurate work even when under pressure.
  • Good interpersonal skills. You will often have direct contact with patients. You must be trustworthy, sympathetic and have a friendly and professional attitude towards them.
  • Happy to work as part of a team. You’ll be working as part of a team whose collective focus is the health and well-being of people. You need to know how all these different people interlock and enjoy working as a team.

To find out more, visit the NHS Healthcare Science Careers page here.