BSW hospital supports new generation of healthcare science staff

New healthcare science staff are choosing to start their careers at the Royal United Hospitals (RUH) NHS Foundation Trust in Bath thanks to a range of training programmes offering them vital hands-on experience.

The programmes enable trainees to get essential experience of working in a busy clinical setting, while also completing a university degree.

Healthcare science staff make up just 5 per cent of the total NHS workforce but are involved in 80 per cent of all clinical decisions made in the health service.

There are over 50 specialisms in healthcare science and the RUH has healthcare scientists and practitioners in many different departments across the hospital. These include Medical Physics and Clinical Engineering, Pathology and Blood Sciences, Vascular Science, Respiratory and Sleep Science, Audiology, Neurophysiology, and Cardiac Science.

Three of the RUH’s current trainee healthcare science staff all took different routes to start their careers at the hospital.

Based in the Nuclear Medicine department, Jasmine Overall is on a Level 6 apprenticeship, studying for a degree in Medical Physics Technology in partnership with the University of the West of England (UWE).

Jasmine, who is on track to become a Nuclear Medical Clinical Technologist, said: “for me, it’s been the perfect route to become a qualified healthcare scientist. The learning is hands-on so I’ve been able to hit the ground running and know that I’ve contributed to the work of the team.

“It’s a patient-facing role too, which I really enjoy. I’ll set up patient scans, insert cannulas and even manage the radioactive substances that we use in our scans.”

Jane Blackbourn, who works in the RUH’s Cardiology department, is on a fast-track 18-month echocardiography training programme.

Already a sports science graduate, she said: “I left university with a sports science degree, but I still wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do. When I found out about this post-graduate training programme it really appealed to me.

“The training has been so good and I’m hoping to become a fully-qualified echocardiographer. I’m involved with a lot of the patient scans and have learnt so much in such a short space of time. It’s hands-on and the RUH is a very good place to train – so much research is fed into our daily practice.”