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Our Pathology consultants have an impressive track record of placing good candidates in rewarding, well-paid positions. Working alongside 50 NHS Trusts and with contacts throughout the private sector our friendly, professional team has access to some of the best Pathology positions in the country.
Pathology. Healthcare science staff in pathology investigate the causes of illness and how it progresses; carry out tests on tissue, blood and other samples from patients. They play a crucial role in the diagnosis of illness, they help doctors choose the best type of treatment for patients, and monitor its effectiveness.
Genetics. Healthcare science staff in this field play an important role in understanding the genetic components of illnesses.
Reproductive science. This is a rapidly developing field, where healthcare science staff are key in creating life and providing other solutions to infertility.
Healthcare science teams in life sciences work in:
Anatomical pathology - a vital area concerned with understanding and identifying the causes of death, and assisting doctors with post mortems. Offering support to bereaved relatives may also be involved.
Blood transfusion - in hospitals, blood from donors is matched so that it can be given to patients when needed, for example during an operation. Healthcare science staff working for the National Blood and Transplant Service are also involved in the collection, processing and issue of blood components and investigate difficulties encountered with blood and tissue matching.
Clinical biochemistry - Healthcare science staff help diagnose and manage disease through the analysis of blood and other body fluids. They advise hospital doctors and GPs on which tests to ask for, how to use the results of the tests and the options for treatment of the patient.
Cytogenetics - chromosomes, taken from patient cells, are studied under a microscope to see if there are any abnormalities, for example in newborn babies. Healthcare science staff also help with the diagnosis of certain leukaemias.
Cytopathology and cervical cytology - as well as screening cervical smears, healthcare science staff prepare and examine a range of other cellular samples to look for signs of abnormality.
Electron microscopy - a specialised area of histopathology (see below). Healthcare science staff prepare and examine minute tissue samples using an electron microscope, looking at and interpreting structures inside individual cells to help support or make a clinical diagnosis.
Embryology and andrology - a dynamic area dealing with infertility treatments, such as IVF, and other programmes. Healthcare science staff help collect eggs from patients and prepare them for fertilisation.
External quality assurance - monitoring the quality of a variety of diagnostic tests. Healthcare science staff in this field are also involved in auditing and accrediting measurement programmes so that participants reach the right standards.
Haematology (including haemostasis and thrombosis) - haematology is the study of the blood and blood-forming tissues. Healthcare science staff play a major role in the diagnosis and monitoring of patients with disorders of the blood and bone marrow, for example: leukaemia and related blood cancers; anaemia; haemophilia and other bleeding and clotting problems; and sickle cell disease.
Histocompatibility and immunogenetics - healthcare science staff undertake tissue matching for organ and bone marrow transplants. They also develop and apply tests and treatments involving the manipulation of the immune system.
Histopathology - involves the microscopic examination of tissue samples. Healthcare science staff sample and prepare tissues for examination and diagnosis using dyes and specialist techniques to reveal the structure of tissues and cells, so enabling doctors to see what the likely course and outcome of a disease such as cancer will be.
Immunology - concentrates on conditions that affect the immune system. Healthcare science staff are involved in the diagnosis and monitoring of abnormal immune responses such as allergies, leukaemia and HIV.
Microbiology - the study of organisms (bacterial, viral, fungal and parasitic) that cause infections. A large part of the work is the identification of bacteria and the most effective drug to use for treatment. Healthcare science staff may also work in the Health Protection Agency, helping prevent and manage epidemics.
Molecular genetics - samples of patients' DNA are examined to identify genetic abnormalities that may be responsible for inherited diseases or conditions. Healthcare science staff not only identify abnormal genes but can also predict the likelihood of them being passed on to the next generation.
Phlebotomy - taking blood samples to help diagnose or monitor disease. Healthcare science staff in this area have specialist skills that enable them to take blood from babies, children and frail elderly people as well as other patients. They may also assist with more advanced techniques to access blood vessels for diagnosis or treatment.
Tissue banking - the collection, processing, harvesting, storage and issuing of different types of tissue to be used to treat patients, for example skin, bone marrow, eye corneas, heart valves and stem cells. Healthcare science staff ensure tissues are handled safely and the correct tissue is issued to patients.
Toxicology - the scientific identification, measurement and study of the effects of harmful chemicals, biological agents and drug overdoses on the human body. Toxicologists plan and carry out investigations to determine the impact of toxic materials and advise on the treatment of affected patients.
The entries in the menu on the left provide further details of these careers, and how to get started.
As a result of Modernising Scientific Careers (MSC), a number of changes have been made to the entry and training for careers in healthcare science.
Specifically, new routes are coming on stream to enter as a healthcare science assistant or associate; or through the undergraduate (Practitioner Training Programme) route - the new BSc Healthcare Science (Life Sciences - including blood sciences, infection sciences, cellular sciences, or genetics) - which is now available at a number of universities; the graduate (Scientist Training Programme - (in infection sciences, blood sciences or cellular sciences) and from 2013 or 2014 consultant (Higher Specialist Scientific Training) levels.
As the new routes being introduced through Modernising Scientific Careers become more established, the information about healthcare science training contained within this website will be subject to change over time and you will need to check the routes into each career individually.
If you are therefore considering a healthcare science career, you are strongly advised to check this website and other official sources to get the latest information.
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