Can we make science more approachable?

Think of the following scenario. You are in the pub, having a drink and meet some new people. The first thing they ask is, “So, what do you do?”. What do you reply to this? How do you put words together that would make sense to the person in front of you?  I usually have a mild panic trying to assess the level of biological understanding of the person in front of me and lead with “I am training to be a clinical scientist, at the genetics laboratory in our hospital”.   I then wait to see if they ask follow-up questions or are just satisfied with moving on to pub talk.

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CSO conference at a glance

Hello and welcome back to the 3rd post in our healthcare science week series! As I’m sure many of you know, it was the Chief Scientific Officer’s 2019 conference last week. Unfortunately, no one at STP perspectives was able to attend. However, we’ve been lucky enough to receive some feedback about the conference from someone who not only attended, but took part in a panel session as well. This piece, written by Ang Davies, a Senior Lecturer and Programme Director at the University of Manchester, gives an overview of some of the themes of the conference as well as some really valuable learning points that she took away- that I think as trainees we should pay particular attention to!

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STP Electives | Frankie

One of the best parts of my STP experience so far has been my elective, it’s a great way of getting away from the work you do every day and gaining new perspectives on healthcare science. My elective ended up being a series of small things rather than a big 4 to 6-week elective, mostly because of time constraints (N.B. getting married during the STP is STRESSFUL) but also because the larger placement that I wanted to do fell through.

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Healthcare Science Week 2019

It’s healthcare science week 2019! A celebration of all the amazing work healthcare scientists do throughout the year to improve patient care and outcomes. For healthcare science week this year, I was appointed by our lead healthcare scientist to coordinate the activities of the trust to celebrate the week. This appointment came through being the trainee representative in the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust healthcare science network. The network was created with the aim of establishing a corporate profile for healthcare science, to represent the workforce with one voice and facilitate celebration, innovation, collaboration and communication across specialisms.

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STP Specialisms | Vascular Science

Intro to vascular science:

Cardiovascular disease is the world’s largest and most impactive health problem, and is thought to contribute to approximately one-third of all deaths worldwide (World Health Organisation 2019), with many more people being affected by a wide range of cardiovascular disorders every day.

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STP perspectives podcast | Dr Cloutman-Green

Probably a bit much to call it a podcast at this point… but aim high, right?!

Late last year, Dr Elaine Cloutman-Green, Lead Healthcare Scientist at Great Ormond Street Hospital/@girlymicro, HCS social media influencer on Twitter, co-created a play with playwright and scriptwriter, Nicola Baldwin (@NicoBalders). The play was called Nosocomial and aimed to increase public awareness and understanding of healthcare scientists, as well as demonstrate the variety of roles and collaboration within healthcare science. The play is now a well-deserving finalist in the CSO awards.

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Mind your mindset

All streams of Healthcare Science are deep and complex. It takes years of hard work just to become minimally competent. With time, the excitement, enthusiasm and gratitude we begin our training with can sometimes give way to disillusionment. We expect that the payoff of this long-term effort comes at the end of the programme when we are fully registered. In an STP plot twist, I’ve concluded that to face the challenges of the STP, it’s better to look for that payoff in the here and now.

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