Healthcare Science Week is a ten-day celebration, part of British Science Week, which gives us the opportunity to showcase the great work of healthcare science professionals and the importance of their contribution to the healthcare industry. Healthcare scientists identify new diseases, diagnose, develop medicine and treat illnesses. Ultimately, they are the scientific backbone of healthcare and contribute to 80% of diagnoses. Despite this, there are still some misconceptions about the industry:
1. All healthcare scientists work in laboratories
This is a common myth. Whilst it is true that many healthcare scientists do work in labs analysing blood, body tissue and genes; many also work in clinics and wards. There are four different healthcare science specialisms; pathology sciences, physiological sciences, bioinformatics and medical physics/clinical engineering; these sciences relate to different stages of healthcare and parts of the body. This means that whilst some are looking more closely at the initial cause of diseases and illnesses in labs, other scientists focus on the treatment once an illness has developed which can be studied outside of a lab.
2. Healthcare scientists don’t work with patients
As mentioned above, some healthcare scientists work within clinics and wards as they require a lot of direct contact with patients, such as biomedical engineering and physiological and physical sciences. This can include ultrasounds, MRI scans and optical imaging within hospitals or visiting patients in their own homes for personal assessments. Healthcare science professionals work closely with patients to see how they are responding to treatment and medicines; this is vital for further development and research.
3. You must have a degree to work in healthcare science
Whilst you need a degree for most healthcare science roles, there are opportunities to work within healthcare science without a degree. The industry has a range of support roles that don’t require a degree to apply, these include phlebotomist, healthcare science assistant, newborn hearing screener and cervical cytology screener.
Make sure you stay involved with #HCSWeek2018 on social media for all updates throughout the week.
Would you like to work in healthcare science? Browse our healthcare science jobs here.