Careers in Healthcare S1 E4 Healthcare science : Biomedical scientist

Anna recently started her job as a biomedical scientist with NHSScotland. She specialises in haematology, meaning that her work involves analysing blood samples to identify or monitor illnesses and treatments. In this episode, Anna explains how she became a biomedical scientist and how you can do it too!

Anna's motivation

Biology was always Anna’s favourite subject, so she decided to do a degree in Applied Biomedical Science at Robert Gordon University. Through her degree she completed a Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) registered portfolio that was accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS). Anna completed an IBMS accredited degree, so she was able to move straight into a role as a qualified biomedical scientist.

A typical day as a biomedical scientist

A typical day in the laboratory for a biomedical scientist specialising in haematology starts with talking to colleagues who have been on the previous shift. They tell Anna anything that she needs to follow up on that day. She’ll then work on maintenance for the analysers, run quality controls to make sure blood results are reliable, and review those results on the computer. At this point, results can either be returned to the medical professional who sent them, or they might need further analysis. Anna loves when the laboratory gets especially unusual samples for analysis for things like malaria or sickle cell disease.

The afternoons can get very busy in the laboratory, as GP samples arrive to be analysed. Anna explained that a calm manner, great organisation skills and multitasking are key to doing her job well.

Anna's advice for you

For anyone interested in pursuing a career like Anna’s, she suggests that when it’s possible, you should try to get some work experience in the laboratory. Some students can find roles as medical laboratory assistants (MLAs), which is a great opportunity to learn more about biomedical science. Start by reading about how you can become a biomedical scientist.

If you’re looking for the most direct route into becoming a biomedical scientist, Anna says that you should try to find a degree that is accredited by the IBMS. Those degrees include your registration portfolio, which means you can move straight into a biomedical science role as soon as you graduate.

We hope you enjoyed finding out about Anna’s exciting work as a biomedical scientist. Make sure to tune in to our other episodes to find out more about different healthcare science roles in NHSScotland. If you’d like to read about NHSScotland careers, including those in healthcare science, explore our careers.