The healthcare science team plays a vital role in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of a huge number of medical conditions, as well as in the rehabilitation of patients. Along with other health professions, healthcare science staff are essential members of today's healthcare team.
Almost any patient investigation or treatment depends on the work done by healthcare scientists - from biomedical scientists providing diagnostic information on blood and tissue, to clinical perfusionists enabling surgeons to perform complex procedures on the heart and lungs. Healthcare scientists influence around 80% of clinical decisions and are increasingly being recognised for their vital role in delivering health care.
Most healthcare scientists are also involved in research, developing new methods of detecting and monitoring disease, designing new equipment, and introducing treatments.
Rapid advances in technology mean this is now one of the most exciting, challenging and rewarding areas of the NHS.
Many healthcare scientists work directly with patients at some time in their career. Healthcare scientists work in one of the following broad areas:
In Wales, we also include Radiographers (both Diagnostic and Therapeutic) and operating Department Practitioners within Healthcare Science, referring to them with their professional titles:
Careers and training in healthcare science has been revitalised by Modernising Scientific Careers (MSC). Coupled with academic learning, training is more consistent and patient focused. This allows trainees at all levels to gain practical and engaging workplace experience as soon as they start.
Routes into healthcare science include:
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