19 January 2021by Natalie Burgess

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What is a vascular scientist?

Vascular science relates to how blood flows in the body. If you work in vascular science, you'll use ultrasound and other non-invasive techniques to image and assess the blood flow of patients with diseases of the arteries and veins.

Vascular scientists work with both in and outpatients. The majority of patients are seen to either suffer from advanced illnesses, are advanced in years, or have some form of disability. You’ll also help to diagnose a range of conditions, including strokes, varicose veins, and aneurysms.

The duties and responsibilities of a vascular scientist include:

  • Using an ultrasound machine to carry out investigations. However, you may use other equipment for measuring blood circulation in vital organs, limbs, and the brain.

  • Working closely with patients on a daily basis. As a result, your bedside manner must be impeccable. You work with the patient to prepare them for their upcoming exam and will have to explain the procedures they’ll undergo.

  • Reporting your findings, writing reports and reviewing the patient’s records as you do so. This information then informs the next course of action.

  • Cooperating with nurses, radiologists, and vascular surgeons.

Where can vascular scientists work?

Most vascular scientists work in clinics or hospitals, often as part of a larger ultrasound department. However, you may be called out to provide assessments at a GP’s office, particularly for patients who may struggle to travel to a clinic. You may also carry out your work in a ward, intensive care, or the operating theatre. However, you’ll most likely be predominantly located in a dedicated department.

You may also work in any of the following settings:

  • NHS Hospitals

  • Private Hospitals

  • Community Hospitals

  • Private Clinics

  • Mobile Vans

  • Universities

What qualifications does a vascular scientist need?

To practise as a vascular scientist in the UK, you will need to have:

  • Excellent references, practical experiences from University if a new graduate.

  • SVT accreditation is desirable.

  • Sometimes helps to have a relevant post-graduate degree in specialist areas.

What is a vascular scientist’s salary?

  • Band 7: £37.570 - £43,772

  • Band 8: £45,753 - £60,983

Working as a locum vascular scientist

  • Band 7: £45 - £50+ an hour

  • Band 8a-8b: £50 - £65+ an hour

Working as a locum Vascular Scientist can differ to a full-time role in the following ways:

  • 6-12+ month contracts available

  • Can work weekends and evenings for enhanced rates

  • High expectations on a locum to come in and hit the ground running without a huge amount of training and/or supervision

  • You can pick where you want to work and what area of Physiology you want to work in

  • Gain experience using different computer systems and settings

  • Tend to avoid bureaucracy

  • Greater flexibility with hours

  • Paid per hour worked

  • Increased rate

  • 1 weeks’ notice if you wish is to try a different role

  • Weekly payments

How to become a vascular scientist

You can apply for a place, specialising in vascular science, on the graduate-entry NHS Scientist Training Programme. For this, you must have First Class Honours or 2.1 - either in an undergraduate honours degree or an integrated master’s degree in a pure or applied science subject relevant to the specialism for which you are applying.

For STP positions in the physiological sciences (which include vascular science), the most commonly accepted degrees will be in physiology, pure or applied physics, engineering, biology, human biology or sports science (only if there is significant scientific content).

With experience as a registered clinical scientist, you can apply for Higher Specialist Scientist Training (HSST).

Looking to become a vascular scientist? Register with Maxxima today. Alternatively, search our vascular scientist jobs now to start your career with Maxxima.