Healthcare Science Week – raising awareness of ‘hidden’ careers

Funmi at Queen's Hospital

Funmi at Queen's Hospital

This Healthcare Science Week (13 to 19 March) Funmi Akinlade (pictured), consultant clinical scientist in biochemistry, is keen to ensure young scientists know the vast range of careers open to them in the NHS.

Funmi, who works in our Pathology team supporting clinicians to understand what their patients’ blood results means, in turn helping with diagnosis and treatment, said:

“I always liked science and knew I didn’t want to be a doctor. I did biology, chemistry and maths A-levels and as I really liked biochemistry, I studied that at university. I did a pharmaceutical placement while studying and realised it wasn’t for me and it was only in my final year when I attended a lecture by a healthcare scientist in pathology, that I realised this career path existed, where I could work in science and also help people, making a difference to patients.

“Healthcare scientists are a huge part of the patient journey and the NHS, playing a role in diagnosing, treating and preventing disease, but sometimes we are hidden. Events like this week are important in raising the profile of the profession.”

We have events running every day this week to bring healthcare scientists across our Trust together, as well as encourage more people to consider careers in the field.

Funmi will be giving advice in our virtual learning event on Tuesday (14 March), alongside her fellow lead healthcare scientists; Liz Crees and Jude Skipper, about how to get into and progress within healthcare science.

While on Friday (17 March), we’ve invited local science students to Queen’s Hospital to learn about the range of careers, there are more than 50 branches of healthcare science, including medical physics and engineering and physiological sciences. There will even be a chance for students to have some hands-on experience.

Funmi added: “I love my job. No two days are the same; I get to see the impact what we do has on patient care; and I get to work with a variety of colleagues, including medical and pharmacy teams.

“It’s also really exciting as there are opportunities to bring in new innovations to improve diagnostics and reduce the time it takes to diagnose patients, and get more involved in community diagnostic centres, bringing testing closer to home for patients so they don’t always need to go to hospital.”

Find out more about the healthcare science roles available in the NHS.

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