Healthcare Scientists showcase their outstanding work

There are 460 healthcare scientists at the hospital who cover over 20 different specialisms.

To celebrate Healthcare Science Week (13-19 March) today colleagues showcased their work outside the Benjamin Gooch Lecture Theatre.

“Scientific input contributes to over 80% of patient diagnoses, ranging from testing samples in the laboratory to direct patient testing”, said John FitzGerald, Consultant Clinical Scientist and Trust Lead Healthcare Scientist.

“There are so many different areas of science you can work in within the NHS from laboratory science, medical physics, engineering and physiological science.

“I have always been interested in science and the physiology of the human body so a career in the NHS as a healthcare scientist was perfect for me.

“As a scientist you always want to develop and improve things and working in a hospital environment gives you a unique insight into how science can push the boundaries of current knowledge and develop services for direct patient benefit.”

Oliver Smith, Clinical Physiologist, is involved in the physiological assessment of the gastrointestinal tract.

In the Norfolk Physiology Unit, Oliver and his colleagues also assess bladder function through urodynamics.

“There are very few Physiology centres and Gastrointestinal Physiologists in the country and having such a service here at the hospital allows clinicians to manage more effectively conditions including Gastro Oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD), swallowing conditions such as Achalasia, Faecal Incontinence and Evacuating dysfunction,” said Oliver.

Dawn-Marie Shackell is a Respiratory Physiologist and helps with the diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of respiratory related disorders.

“Whilst at university one of my favourite subjects was physiology. Once I heard about the different jobs that branch off within the NHS, Clinical Physiology being one of those, I decided that was the path I wanted pursue, and I have now been working within respiratory physiology for 18 years,” she said.

“I diagnose and treat people with hearing losses, this can have a huge impact on the quality of a person’s life, helping them to communicate and stay connected with loved ones,” said Ella Woodward, Senior Audiologist.

“I really enjoy to interact with my patients. I also love the team I work in, who are always supportive and contribute helpful opinions to more complex cases.”

Catherine Crabtree is also an Audiologist and she conducts hearing assessments to help diagnose all kinds of ear conditions.

“We see patients right through from diagnosis to treatment,” she said.

“I enjoy using science as it is very rewarding to see the direct impact our work is having. It is amazing to experience patients being able to hear clearly for the first time.”

Rebecca Cozens, Biomedical Scientist, works in laboratory medicine as the Eastern Pathology Alliance Training Manager.

“I believe that everyone can say they or someone they know has used our services,” said Rebecca.

“At least 70% of all diagnosis is based on Pathology results, so we provide a pivotal service to patients.

“I have a fundamental love of science and medicine, especially blood science. I still remember the day I got my first proper microscope at the age of 18. It was the best present I could have received! It was a very natural choice to work in healthcare science. I also value education and training and I am luckily to be able to combine both aspects in my work.”

“I work to ensure that the radiation beam treatment plans created for each patient are optimal and are delivered accurately, which includes carrying out quality assurance processes on all aspects of treatment delivery,” said Susannah Leah, Clinical Scientist in Radiotherapy Physics.

“I decided on a career in healthcare science because I wanted to channel my knowledge and passion for physics into worthwhile, rewarding work that directly impacts patients.

“My favourite part of the job is problem solving. I find it rewarding to figure out a solution to a difficult case or new technique.”

Our Nuclear Medicine department uses radioactivity to diagnose and treat patients. Emily Fittock, Clinical Scientist, tests the equipment that we use in the department, to make sure that it is working as expected.

“I also administer radioactive treatments for thyroid cancer, and other thyroid conditions, giving patients advice to make sure their family, friends, and colleagues are kept safe,” she said.

“I always knew that I wanted to work in healthcare as I received great care from the NHS and wanted to give back. Physics ended up being my favourite subject at school and I found out that medical physics is a career option and I haven’t looked back since.”

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