Healthcare increasingly uses sophisticated equipment and instruments to diagnose illness and to treat patients.
Training and qualifications requiredAppropriate A-levels including at least one science (or equivalent level-3 qualifications) are required to enter the NHS Practitioner Training Programme (PTP); a relevant degree (at a minimum of a 2:1 classification or a 2:2 with appropriate postgraduate qualifications), is required for the NHS Scientist Training Programme (STP).
Expected working hours and salary rangeNHS staff will usually work a standard 37.5 hours per week. They may work a shift pattern. Most jobs in the NHS are covered by the Agenda for Change (AfC) pay scales. Healthcare science staff in clinical or medical technology can earn between AfC bands 5 and 9, depending on the role and level of responsibility. As a healthcare science practitioner, you’d usually start on band 5, with opportunities to progress to more senior positions. Trainee clinical scientists train at band 6 level, and qualified clinical scientists are generally appointed at band 7. With experience and further qualifications, you could apply for posts up to band 9. Terms and conditions of service can vary for employers outside the NHS.
Desirable skills and valuesAn interest in science and technology, good communication skills, comfortable using modern technology and complex equipment, attention to detail, good interpersonal skills and able to work as part of a team.
ProspectsWith further training or experience or both, you may be able to develop your career further and apply for vacancies in areas such as further specialisation, management, research, or teaching.
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