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Career Spotlights ~ Biomedical Scientist
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Basic Info
  • Hours: 37.5 per week
  • Starting Salary: £21,200 + per year

If you enjoy Science and you are interested in Medicine and Health Care, this could be a great job choice for you. These Scientists analyse samples from patients to help doctors diagnose and treat them. To become a registered Biomedical Scientist, you will need to have passed an approved degree. As a Scientist you will need to have an enquiring mind and be good at solving problems. An interest in Science and Computing is very useful. So too is accuracy and attention to details.

The Work

As a Biomedical Scientist, you would normally work in a hospital laboratory and specialise in an area such as:

  • Chemical Pathology (Biochemisty) - diagnosing disease and testing organ function by analysing blood and other biological materials
  • Transfusion Science - Checking for donor, transfusion and plasma compatibility
  • Haematology - Identifying blood cell abnormalities and calculating haemoglobin levels
  • Cellular Pathology - Finding the cause of illness and disease by analysing tissue samples
  • Medical Microbiology - Locating micor-organisms and testing their reaction to antibiotics
  • Virology - Identifying viral infections and screening those at risk
  • Cytology - Finding abnormalities by analysing cells collected from patients
  • Immunology - Treating diseases such as AIDS and leukaemia by developing tests and treatments that influence the immune system

You would also be involved in carrying out new research, and would often support junior staff and technicians.

Hours

In the NHS you would usually work 37.5 hours a week. This would often include evening and weekend shifts, and being on an on-call rota.

You will mainly work in clean, sometimes sterile environments, and would wear protective clothing

Income

Biomedical Scientists in the NHS can earn between around £21,200 and £27,500 a year. Specialists, team leaders and managers may earn between £33,500 and £40,200 a year.

Additional payments may be made for overtime, on-call duties, and to those living in London. Salaries in the private sector may be higher than those in the NHS

Entry Requirements

To bcome a registered Biomedical Scientist, you will need to:

  • Gain an Institue of Biomedical Science (IBMS) accredited honours degree
  • Have a leat one year's training at an approved laboratory (this could be part of a sandwich degree course)
  • Complete a Registration Training Portfolio for the Certificate of Competence
  • Be awarded an IBMS Certificate of Competence, followed by registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Once you have achieved an IBMS approved degree you may be able to apply for a trainee Biomedical Scientist post in the NHS. This would enable you to complete the remaining stages leading to HCPC registration.

Training and Development

Once you are registered and working as a Biomedical Scientist, you can specialise in an area (see 'The Work' section above) by taking advanced Institue of Biomedical Science (IBMS) accredited courses and qualifications. Taking these would increase your career prospects. Course include:

  • Specialist, Higher Specialist, and Advanced Specialist Diplomas
  • MSc degree courses (leading to fellowship status with IBMS)
  • Professional Doctorates
Skills and Knowledge

To be a Biomedical Scientist, you will need to have:

  • A high level of ability and interest in Science and Computing
  • An interest in Medicine, and in development of new treatments
  • The ability to concentrate for long periods
  • A high level of accuracy and attention to detail
  • High ethical standards
  • The ability to take responsibility for making decisions
  • An enquiring mind and good problem-solving skills
  • The ability to lead a research and development team
  • Strong spoken and written communication skills
  • Empathy and understanding when working directly with patients

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