Sixth form students from Oldfield School in Bath recently had the chance to experience some hands-on scientific activities, during an interactive Healthcare Science Week workshop at the RUH.
Healthcare Science Week is held annually to celebrate the important work of healthcare scientists.
It provides an opportunity to raise awareness among young people studying at local schools and colleges of the wide variety of careers available at the RUH, and to inspire the NHS scientific workforce of the future.
Dr Ed Matthews, Lead Healthcare Scientist for the Trust and Head of Medical Physics and Bioengineering said: “Healthcare Science Week is a great opportunity for us to celebrate and showcase the amazing work of all healthcare science staff at the RUH.
“It’s also a great chance to dispel some common myths that healthcare science staff do not treat patients directly, and only work in labs.
“In fact healthcare scientists make up approximately 5% of the total NHS workforce, but their work underpins over 80% of all clinical decisions.”
Activities on the day included exploring how advanced computer software is used by the Radiotherapy Physics team to plan radiotherapy treatment for cancer patients; examining different tissue samples under a microscope with biomedical scientists from the Haematology and Histology Departments; and using an ultrasound probe with our vascular scientists to image and assess blood flow in a ‘volunteer’ patient.
There was also the chance to learn from staff from ten other different healthcare science specialties.
Alison Clark, health and social care teacher at Oldfield School said: “This was a great chance for our students to develop their knowledge and understanding of the variety of healthcare science careers available.
“All the staff were brilliant at engaging with the students, answering their questions and making it fun and interesting for them.”
Healthcare scientists help prevent, diagnose and treat illness using their knowledge of science and their technical skills.
They use their expertise to help save lives and improve patient care in a supporting role or in direct contact with patients.
They work in four main areas – life sciences, physiological sciences, physical sciences and bio-mechanical engineering and bioinformatics.