6 months in radiation safety

Disclaimer: in the ensuing rant all opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.  I don’t confess to having the answers, only many, many questions. My STP experiences should not be taken as general.  

The last 6 months have been tough for me.  After the highs of MR and radiotherapy, I found myself in a work culture that at times didn’t seem to value independence or innovation.  I don’t wish to dwell, especially given that, in the end, I did get signed off on all my rotational competencies and assessments.  

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Climate change | What’s it got to do with healthcare science?

It sometimes seems like the only two things people were talking about in 2019 was Brexit and climate change. And since I can’t do anything about Brexit, and quite frankly, am sick of discussing it, I felt that we could start the year by talking about the other hot (literally) topic: the climate change crisis- and the role healthcare scientists have played in it. Whether your New Year’s resolution is to reduce your carbon footprint, live more sustainably or neither of those things I hope you give this post a chance to find out a little more about the impact of healthcare on the environment! So, what do healthcare scientists have to do with climate change? And even if we are contributing- surely at least the work we do is helping people so it’s worth the small environmental impact?! 

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Stressed? That’s okay!

Do you ever have a sudden realisation that scares you and stresses you out? For example, the other day I realised that the OSFAs are eight months away, EIGHT months (sorry third years, they are approaching fast). The STP is an intense programme and although a lot of things are stressful and tiring we need to understand where to draw the line to not overdo it.  It was Stress Awareness Week when I started writing and as a fellow overthinker, I thought I could share my tips of trying to overcome stress and when/how to ask for help. Workload and time constraints have reduced my free time and motivation to sit down and write though so I do apologise for the recent lack of posts.

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The Elective Perspective | Jes | Part 3

Week 5

The good start I was hoping for on Monday morning didn’t quite come into fruition. But, it wasn’t a total disaster. The job hadn’t failed or been killed, it just hadn’t finished running yet. Which was fine… except I wasn’t sure exactly how long things were allowed to run until they were killed by the job scheduler. I’d heard ~2 and a half days, and as the clock approached almost 3 days of run time I started to get very nervous, especially since the log files were indicating that the jobs were only about 65% complete (turns out it took 5 days but it was allowed to continue running so I’m taking that as a win).

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The Elective Perspective | Jes | Part 2

Week 3

When I say that coming in on Monday morning to find that all 12 of the jobs I left running over the weekend had executed perfectly brought equal amounts of surprise, joy and relief, you may think “you should have more confidence in your abilities”. But I think most bioinformaticians will know the suspense of checking the log files for a job that has been running for 20+ hours and not wanting to get our hopes up too high- just in case. But of course, there was no time to linger on that success as it was only the first stage of a multistep pipeline. 

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Should you join a professional society?

Throughout your 3 years on the STP you will undoubtedly see and hear about many professional bodies or societies related to your specialism who are eager for you to sign up and can seemingly do little more than take hard-earned money out of your wallet. 

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STP Specialisms | Cardiac Science

Ischaemic heart disease is the number one global cause of death and has been for over 20 years (World Health Organisation, 2018) with 7.4 million people living with cardiovascular diseases in the UK (British Heart Foundation, 2019). This places a huge demand on the NHS with a financial burden of an estimated 7.4 billion per year spent on cardiovascular disease-related healthcare costs in England alone (Public Health England, 2019). Cardiac Science is a growing field with 541 applicants in 2018 and 35 direct entry posts. As a Cardiac Science STP trainee, I am based in the Cardiac Investigations Department but we work in many different arms of cardiology including the Outpatients Department, the Cardiology Wards, and the Catheter/Pacing Labs. 

The Elective Perspective | Jes | Part 1

Week 1

The Kinghorn Centre for Clinical Genomics, Sydney, Australia. This is where I’m lucky enough to be doing my elective placement for 6 weeks as part of the STP. The Kinghorn Centre for Clinical Genomics (KCCG) is part of the Garvan Institute, a prestigious medical research facility, and as the name suggests- specialises in Genomics diagnostics and research.

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