So, you’re sold that Health and Social Care is the path for you. That’s great and all, but where on earth do you start...
- Assist healthcare professionals working with chemicals, tissue and fluid samples
- You may need to deal with unpleasant or challenging sights and smells from infectious materials, bodily fluids and biological samples
- Opportunities to progress to become a healthcare scientist or biomedical scientist
As a healthcare science assistant, you'll be responsible for aiding healthcare science professionals.
- Labelling, sorting and storing specimens
- Helping with tissue and fluid sample analysis
- Putting together chemical solutions
- Loading and operating machines
- Using a computer to input and analyse data
- Disposing of hazardous waste
- Sterilising equipment
- Maintaining stock levels
You could work in an office, in a laboratory, or at a GP practice. You may need to deal with unpleasant or challenging sights and smells from infectious materials, bodily fluids and biological samples.
This role would be ideal for someone with thoroughness and attention to detail, initiative, who can work well with others, analytical thinking skills, maths knowledge, patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations, and knowledge of chemistry including the safe use and disposal of chemicals.
You could take a college course, such as Applied Science, to improve your chances of finding work.
You could also get into this job through an intermediate apprenticeship in healthcare science.
Direct application is possible, but you'll usually need good literacy, numeracy and IT skills, an understanding of medical terminology, and some experience of working in a healthcare or lab setting.
With experience, you could apply for a senior post as a healthcare science associate. With a degree you could work towards becoming a healthcare scientist or biomedical scientist, or apply for the NHS Practitioner Training Programme.
You could also train to become a cardiological technician, cardiographer, cervical cytology screener or phlebotomist.