Cardiac science involves analysing known and suspected heart disease.
Training and qualifications required
There are various routes into careers in cardiac sciences. (1) You’ll typically need three A-C grade GCSEs or level-2 qualifications (or equivalent) for a post as a cardiographer;(2) A-levels ideally including two science subjects or level-3 (or equivalent) for a BSc (Hons) Healthcare Science (audiology) or Practitioner Training Programme; (3)through the NHS Scientist Training Programme for which you’ll need a 1st or 2.1 either in an undergraduate honours degree or an integrated master’s degree in a relevant pure or applied science subject such as physiology, pure or applied physics, engineering, biology or human biology, sports science (if there is significant scientific content). 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; or (4) to be a registered clinical scientist to access Higher Specialist Scientist Training.
Expected working hours and salary range
NHS 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. In cardiac sciences, depending on the role, you’ll be in a post between AfC bands 2 and 9. For example, as a healthcare science assistant, you could be on band 2 or 3. 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, including Higher Specialist Scientist Training, 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
Able to communicate with people of all ages; think logically and adopt an analytical scientific approach; an interest in science and technology; comfortable using modern technology and complex equipment; able to work as part of a team.
With 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.