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Local students get a taste of science in the NHS

Posted on Wednesday 20th February 2013
Students put their hands up to ask questions

90 local GCSE students are being welcomed into St Thomas' Hospital this week as part of a work experience programme to learn about healthcare science. 

The students are coming as part of the Reach Out for Healthcare Science project which was created to overcome a number of barriers to young people entering healthcare science careers – including the difficulties faced when trying to find work experience in healthcare science in the NHS due to patient confidentiality and the demand on resources.

Over 80 per cent of diagnostic tests and many hospital treatments  involve healthcare scientists – whether biomedical scientists carrying out tests on blood and tissue samples, an audiologist fitting a hearing aid in the audiology department, physicists using radiation safely to treat cancer or clinical perfusionists enabling surgeons to perform complex procedures on the heart and lungs.

Three hospitals in London have signed up to support the programme, and students visiting St Thomas’ will get experience in medical physics and engineering and the life sciences – which includes pathology, genetics, and phlebotomy.

In partnership with the Department of Health and scientists at Imperial College, staff at our hospitals have developed a work experience programme which is cost efficient and minimises disruption to services.

Keith Ison, Head of Medical Physics, said: “We’re thrilled to be involved in this project – not only because it gives local students experience to help them towards a career, but also because it gives them a unique insight into healthcare sciences which are vital to the running of any hospital.”

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