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Scientific & technical

If you are passionate about technology or science, and about helping others, a career in healthcare science in the NHS offers a wide range of opportunities.

Healthcare scientists play a vital role in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of a huge number of medical conditions, as well as in rehabilitation. Along with doctors, nurses and other professions, healthcare scientists are essential members of today's healthcare team. Whether it's preparing an operating room for transplant surgery, analysing tissue samples, or researching how results from the human genome project can be translated into new treatment. These jobs are done by people whose expertise helps to save lives and improve care for millions of NHS users.

Rapid advances in technology mean this is now one of the most exciting, challenging and rewarding areas of the NHS.

There are a variety of different jobs in this area.


Advise doctors, nurses and patients on how to achieve the best results and make cost effective use of medicines available. They help evaluate new medicines and supervise staff involved in handling medicines.

Life sciences and pathology

Healthcare scientists who work in life sciences may work in hospital laboratories or out in the community. They may work for other national agencies concerned with blood, health protection and organ transplant. Life sciences cover three broad areas. Pathology laboratories (investigating the cause of illness and how it progresses); genetics (understanding the genetic components of illnesses); embryology (key to creating life or providing other solutions to infertility).

Physiological sciences

Healthcare scientists who work in physiological sciences investigate the functioning of organ / body systems to diagnose abnormalities, and find ways to restore function and/or reduce the disabling consequences to the patient. The nature of the work in this area features direct interaction with patients and the use of specialist equipment. The majority work in hospital clinics, departments or as part of a medical or surgical team in the community. Some visit patients in their homes or schools.

Clinical engineering and physical sciences

Healthcare scientists working in this area use their skills to develop methods of measuring what is happening in the body, to devise new ways of diagnosing and treating disease and to ensure that equipment is functioning safely and effectively.