Examples of roles

So, as you can see not all roles in healthcare science you work in a laboratory there are other roles and career pathways. Here we will explore a few roles under the main areas where you could work. 

 

Life Sciences

  • Genomics  

 As a healthcare scientist working in genomics, you’ll be examining samples of patients’ nucleic acid (DNA or RNA (Ribonucleic acid)) to identify genetic and genomic alterations that may be responsible for inherited and acquired diseases or conditions, such as cystic fibrosis or cancer. 

Genes are instructions which tell the body how to make all the proteins it needs to survive and grow. Genomics is the study of genes and how alterations can lead to changes in how proteins function or are produced by cells. 

Physiological sciences 

  • Clinical perfusion science 

Perfusion is the term used to describe the passage of fluid through tissue. As a clinical perfusion scientist, you primarily work in cardiac operating theatres, as a part of the open-heart surgery team.   

 You use a number of highly technical, mechanical and electronic devices to ensure that oxygen reaches a patient’s body through the blood, when the patient’s lungs and heart are temporarily not functioning. You will also control the equipment (heart-lung machine) which temporarily takes over a patient’s respiration (breathing) or circulation of blood (or both) during open-heart surgery. 

 

Clinical bioinformatics  

  • Clinical bioinformatics (genomics) 

You’ll be helping to inform the best treatment for a patient based on their unique genetic make-up. 

If you work in bioinformatics (genomics), you’ll be in a role that connects computing, biology and medicine; those working in this area generally come from a variety of backgrounds including biology, computer science, statistics and informatics. 

 

Physical sciences and clinical engineering,  

  • Decontamination and sterile services 

Decontamination science manages all risks associated with health care acquired infections (HCAI) in the reprocessing of reusable medical devices. 

Staff working in decontamination science are responsible for ensuring that reusable medical devices, such as endoscopes and other surgical devices e.g. instruments and equipment are cleaned, sterilized and repackaged to high standards, ready for reusing in operating theatres and other areas of health care. 

  • Medical engineering 

Medical engineering refers to the process of checking medical equipment to make sure it’s working properly and is safe to use. 

Hospitals use an increasingly wide range of medical equipment in order to deliver healthcare services. This ranges from simple devices such as nebulisers to deliver treatment for respiratory patients through to sophisticated radiotherapy linear accelerators for cancer treatments and other cutting-edge technologies.  

  • Nuclear medicine (healthcare scientist) 

Nuclear medicine is the use of radioactive substances (such as radiolabelled pharmaceuticals) to help diagnose and treat patients. 

In this area of healthcare science, you’ll be actively involved in treating patients.