What is your job title?
Consultant Clinical Scientist – Cardiac Science
Where do you work?
Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
What is your specialism?
How did you become a Clinical Scientist?
What does your role involve?
- I am responsible for the integrity of the scientific and technical knowledge base applicable to the echocardiography service and its integration into clinical practice.
- Provide an example of ‘Good Scientific Practice’ and lead on its local implementation.
- Lead a consultant level specialist caseload of clinical activities and provide highly specialist advice to other health professionals within multi-professional teams. Perform an expert level list in techniques such as transoesophageal, stress and contrast echocardiography.
- Actively support and lead, as part of Consultants rota, Medical Decision Team meetings including infective endocarditis, mitral valve disease, echo and stress echo meetings as well as surgical review meetings.
- Lead the implementation of new technological advances in daily clinical practice (3D, 2D strain) protocols, deliver staff hands-on training sessions and play a major role in driving IT strategic and operational decisions across the trust.
- Support training and education, supervise MSc, STP and HSST trainees and engage in future workforce planning.
- Collaborative work with the NSHCS by participating in the National STP, HSST interview selection processes
- Collaborative work within KHP and South-East Cardiovascular network with active participation in the valve disease group, infective endocarditis and imaging groups.
- Undertake and contribute to research and innovation projects and ensure that such projects are a core activity within our services.
What does a typical day look like in your role?
A typical day as the Consultant Clinical Scientist would involve leading Advanced Clinical Practice sessions including Valve stress clinic, ICC, interventional TOE procedures, stress echo and contrast sessions at independent level. We perform clinical assessments, request blood tests and diagnostic investigations, organise follow up face to face and telephone review clinics, and refer patients to MDM review meetings or a variety of specialist pathways of care. We are also the first point of contact for clinicians wanting to request urgent diagnostic investigations, discuss results and advise on the future clinical management.
Attending meetings happens regularly and these can range from departmental, multi-disciplinary, regional or national. We are also actively involved in the development, evaluation and implementation of new technologies, something which allows us to apply our analytical expertise.
Consequently, every day can be different as Clinical Scientists undertake a variety of roles including: clinical liaison, research and development, clinical audit, service development, teaching, management and quality assurance.
What is the best bit of your role?
I am passionate about our clinical work and leading Advanced Clinical Sessions. This allows me to connect to our patients at personal, clinical and professional level, provide support, guide diagnostic evaluations and contribute directly to clinical management decisions.
I also love teaching and creating opportunities for further growth and development of our future workforce of Clinical Scientists. I am committed to inspiring the new generation of young scientists in finding their passion for advanced clinical and scientific work, analytical thinking and expanding their field of knowledge outside cardiology with the aim of delivering advanced levels of care to all our patients.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of moving from a practitioner to a scientist role?
Explore all training opportunities available at National and International level and find your main area of interest for future training and development – do a detailed research and contact your local NHS hospital and ask if you can visit and speak to clinical scientists and recent trainees.
Plan your future steps and ask for guidance and support form very early stages.
Make each day count and take every opportunity in learning new skills, reviewing clinical management and decision processes via case studies, participate in MDM and teaching meetings and expand your field of knowledge beyond cardiology and diagnostic methodologies.
Collect daily evidence of your work experiences, analytical reviews, learning points, progress and development.
Be proactive in your study and take control of your learning and development plan – make it happen.
A career as a Clinical Scientist is varied and rewarding but not to be undertaken lightly. You must be committed to enrol on a life-long learning and development process with a strong emphasis on continuous
Be caring, empathetic, passionate, resilient and understand that success cannot be achieved without strong collaborative team work.