I am currently on my 2nd year of the Scientific Training Programme (STP) to become a clinical scientist, working within the Cardiac Outpatient Department. Within our department we have three main areas to work:
- Cardiographer – runs services and diagnostic tests that include but not limited to: ECGS, Ambulatory ECG and BPs, bookings, downloading and the first assessor of test data collected
- Sonography – completing ultrasound scans of the heart either with a probe on the chest or down the throat. Sonographers use their skill to look for abnormalities in the heart structure
- Rhythm management – dealing with the electrics and plumbing of the heart, whether it is implanting a pacemaker (device that utilises electrical impulses to stimulate the heart) or working within the cardiac cath labs (a place to treat patients that are having a heart attack)
I am very lucky to have been able to gain experience in all areas. Currently, my favourite role is completing exercise treadmill testing and working with the labs. Because patients can deteriorate without warning, I need to recognise what the signs are and be proactive in keeping the patient safe. My course has also taken me around the hospital including respiratory and vascular departments. Experiencing the roles of others gives a vital understand to the areas around me and what a patient may go through during their individual diagnostic and treatment pathway.
I am a first-year cardiac scientist apprentice working in the cardiac outpatient department. The apprenticeship scheme is a brilliant programme where I learn on the job gaining skills and completing competencies as well as carrying out academic studies to a degree level.
I want to be a qualified healthcare scientist because I have a passion for both people and science. As a cardiac scientist, you are in a privileged position where you can form excellent patient relationships, especially with those who require ongoing care, as well as performing interesting diagnostic procedures. The role is varied and I can honestly say no two days are ever the same whether it’s the excitement of an emergency procedure or the analysis of patient data; it’s never a boring day! However, the factor that makes it a special field of work is the incredible team of people that you have the opportunity to work with. I’m so proud to work alongside such inspirational, innovative people who all combine to provide the best patient care possible.
In the cardiac department, we have a team of healthcare scientists providing diagnostic information to consultants and physicians to guide patient care to ensure treatment is optimal. All healthcare scientists within the department are professionally and nationally accredited (SCST/IBHRE/BSE). Some of the services that we provide include:
- 12-lead electrocardiograms (ECGs) for adults and paediatric patients
- 24/48/72hr/7-day Holter and Event monitor application and interpretation
- Implantable Loop Recorder insertion and follow-up
- Pacemaker implantation and follow-up
- Tilt-table testing
- Exercise tolerance testing
- Hemodynamic monitoring for angiography
Within the department we are proud of the career progressions that have taken place for which we have won national educational awards. All members of the department work together extremely well, having a strong working relationship with the wider cardiology team (consultants/nurses/admin), being supported by the senior team to ensure the day-to-day efficiency of the department. We also work together with the stroke, pre-op, vascular and ITU teams. Whilst times have been trying during the Covid-era we have come together to tackle issues with patient care, whether this is by working remotely, providing remote care or triaging more urgent patient to be seen face-to-face by our team, either at RCHT or at one of the outreach hospitals.
Ultimately our first and foremost priority is to ensure patient care is optimised using the most up-to-date and effective technology achievable by our department. It is an honour to be part of this hard-working, professional, caring and compassionate team.
My name is Sam and I work for the Cardiac Department in Treliske Hospital. I am a Trainee Cardiac Scientist, completing a degree apprenticeship in partnership with UWE Bristol. The course is a NHS Practitioner Training Programme (PTP) which entails full-time study and integrated workplace-based training for three years.
So far, the course has incorporated the other healthcare science specialisms into our academic studies. This has provided me with a broader understanding of the healthcare science sector and how they link together. I am excited for 2nd and 3rd year as it becomes more cardiac specific. Having the workplace based learning has been invaluable and where most of the development and learning is noticeable.
Working in the healthcare science sector is very rewarding as you are a part of the diagnostic and treatment pathway for a patient. You get to work in a variety of settings, with different equipment and encounter diverse experiences. Working to better the lives of patients is the core purpose of the job. The sector is advancing rapidly with new evolving technology and scientific approaches to improve the outcomes of patient treatment.