Every journey begins with a step

Hello! I’m glad you found us. Since we are at the start of this journey we should probably introduce ourselves. I’m Emma and alongside me is Hayley. We think this is going to be quite a journey so we’ll be sharing the navigation.

We’re Clinical Scientists with an idea – a big idea. We have no idea if this will work but we’re going to start something and see what happens.

You can read more about us on the website but here is a potted history of how we got to this point. We both work in cardiac physiology, and Clinical Scientists are a relatively new thing in our profession. To be honest, not everyone in our profession is embracing this new role yet, which means that patients and organisations aren’t realising the full benefits of scientific leadership.

Things are changing, but slowly. We want to increase the pace and scale of the change.

As a profession, we know we have a lot to learn and we’re hoping that you will want to share your knowledge and experience with us. But don’t be fooled by our lack of Clinical Scientist pedigree, we have a lot to offer you in return.

We have well-established areas of advanced practice which are highly valued by patients and organisations. Many of us perform tasks previously done by medics; we report complex investigations, lead clinics, make decisions about investigations and management.

We have a growing number of clinical academics and some of us hold senior positions with national influence.

We want to share our knowledge and experience with you, if you’re interested.

Why are we doing this?

Hayley and I met through the healthcare science community on twitter. Our initial discussions were around inspiring more cardiac physiologists to consider the equivalence route to becoming a Clinical Scientist. We talked about the need to work beyond hospitals and regions to accelerate the change. If you’re looking for more information on this, take a look at our tweet about equivalence as well as the coaching and equivalence sections of our new website.

In my role at Swansea University, I work alongside healthcare scientists from several disciplines and I really value our discussions. I had also previously supported practitioners in audiology, nuclear medicine and respiratory physiology through the equivalence process. This made me wonder if we should be thinking bigger.

The diversity among Clinical Scientists is staggering – there is real strength in that diversity – and yet, there is so much we have in common. Think about the Good Scientific Practice Guide which binds us, and that fact that we are all driven by a desire to provide the best possible healthcare for patients.

There are already many organisations, like the Academy for Healthcare Science (AHCS), working to strengthen our collective voice at the highest levels. They’re doing a great job and we should all support them. So why does it feel, to us at least, as though there is a gap? It seems to us that the gap is at a personal level.

This is the reason we set up @TheClinSci on Twitter, the website and this blog.

We want people to feel a personal and direct connection to a community of Clinical Scientists. We want to build a community that is welcoming, open-minded, and supportive. Together, we can make our roles more visible and drive forward innovative practice at scale.

news-2444778_1920 Tell us about your triumphs and your struggles. Found an amazing resource? Shout about it.

Talk about that great course, webinar or conference you attended.

Share that research publication, audit or QI project.

We care about it all and we want to amplify your voice. We’ve started putting useful stuff on our website and hope to add your contributions soon.

Did you see our Twitter thread about critical appraisal? All the resources from the thread are on our website. Hopefully you’ve already spotted the links in this blog. Click on the green word and this should automatically open up a new tab containing the source.

By sharing work at an individual level we can make new connections, find peer support and engage in healthy debate that challenges our assumptions. Perhaps you’ll find new people to collaborate with or an inspirational person to coach.

What are we going to be blogging about?

If you’re still reading, perhaps you think this could work. Maybe you want to know more about our plan for future blogs.

Our aim is to write for Clinical Scientists and other healthcare professionals who might be interested, including students. We’ll try to use a simple and informal language (not always easy for scientists). We’ll blog about anything we think is useful but the priority is to focus on topics that are relevant to many specialisms e.g. advanced practice, scientific leadership, quality improvement and research.

In the very near future, we hope to have an interview with someone doing the Higher Specialist Scientist Training (HSST) programme, some audit results, and some tips from a senior leader about committee and board experience.

Eventually, we want to dip our toe in the water of podcasts and videos, but let’s take this one step at a time!

How often can you expect a blog? I think we can start with a blog every 2 weeks. Each blog might take you 10 mins to read but will also have links to useful information and resources that allow a deeper dive for those who want it.

How can you get involved?

phone-612061_1920A community is built on people.

For this to work, we need lots of people to actively contribute to the idea.

Please post comments below and contact us to suggest topics for future posts. It would be lovely if you could tweet your thoughts about the blog and share it with those you know. Fancy doing a bit more? We’re also open to the idea of people volunteering to write a guest blog. In fact, we might ask the healthcare science networks around the country if they can contribute. Watch this space…

That’s all for now folks! You’ve reached the end of our first blog. We hope this has given you a sense of who we are, why we’re doing this, and where we’re heading.

We’ve taken the first step on our journey. Will you join us? It would be great to have your company.

Until the next time,

Emma and Hayley.

The Clinical Scientist

p.s. Time to share your opinion! Be gentle with us. We’re just two people with an idea (no fancy tech, web-designer or budget).

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