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Blood sciences

Healthcare science staff working in the blood sciences may collect blood from patients for examination in pathology laboratories, carry out tests on blood to diagnose illness, or ensure that blood from donors is matched so that it can be given to patients when needed.

Training and qualifications required

Three entry points: 1) healthcare science associate or assistant level (for example as a phlebotomist) with GCSEs or equivalent level-2 or level-3 qualifications. Some apprenticeships available (2) healthcare science practitioner through the NHS Practitioner Training Programme (PTP) by taking accredited BSc degree in Healthcare Science (Blood Sciences). You’ll typically need appropriate level-3 qualifications or a a healthcare scientist or (3) via the Scientist Training Programme (specialising in blood sciences) you'll need a 1st or 2.1 either in an undergraduate honours degree or an integrated master’s degree in a pure or applied science subject relevant to blood sciences. If you have a relevant 2.2 honours degree, you’ll also be considered if you have a higher degree in a subject relevant to the specialism for which you are applying. Evidence of research experience is desirable.

Expected working hours and salary range

Staff usually work a standard 37.5 hours per week. They may work a shift pattern. NHS healthcare science staff working in the blood sciences earn between AfC Bands 2 and 9, depending on the precise role and level of responsibility. So for example, 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 values

An interest in science and technology, good communication skills, comfortable using modern technology and complex equipment, attention to detail and good interpersonal skills.

Prospects

Opportunities to develop your career through further study and experience; then apply for roles in management, research, teaching and further specialisation.
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