In April 2019 I began a new job in Cardiac Physiology at my local hospital. So new in fact, it was the first time the department had this role in place and could be the first role of it’s kind in the UK.
Being a Healthcare Scientist Associate isn’t what makes this role unique, there are many Healthcare Scientist Associates/Assistants (HSA’s) across the country, but my role in particular specialises in a particular area of Cardiac Physiology and that’s Cardiac Rhythm Management (CRM).
Working within the CRM department, I am mainly responsible for maintaining the remote monitoring databases – being the first point of contact for patients who are on the remote service, often answering technical queries relating to their communicators and devices on a daily basis. I ensure their remote schedules correlate with their in-clinic appointments, run daily alert checks for the Physiologists and consent patients to join the service.
I’m also heavily involved in the Implantable Loop Recorders (ILR) clinic, both in terms of consenting patients for remote monitoring, explaining how it all works as well as programming their ILR.
Audits, spreadsheets and planning are also an important and regular part of my role, I work closely with the Remote Monitoring Service Lead to ensure a smooth running of the service and create plans to take the service further in the future.
Whilst my role as a HSA in CRM is primarily around the Remote Monitoring service, I also assist with the daily running of the department, from triaging and assisting on inpatient device checks to helping manage staffing across the department, the role is extremely varied and no two days are ever the same!
My role is forever progressing too, as I work towards gaining my Diploma in ECG Interpretation from The Society of Cardiological Science & Technology (SCST). Once obtained, this will see me work towards analysing ILRs as they come in and enable me to better assist patients and staff alike.
As a Healthcare Scientist Associate in CRM, I work alongside Cardiac Physiologists; administrators; consultants; registrars; research nurses; arrhythmia nurses; complex device nurses; other HSAs and the wider Cardiothoracic Directorate. I also work closley with manufacturers of devices for advice, support and learning.
It’s a role I thoroughly enjoy in an area I’ve had a particular interest in since I passed through as an administrator back in 2015. I’ve been told that two similar HSA opportunities are opening up in other areas of Cardiac Physiology where HSAs will specialise in Echocardiography and the Cath Labs, these positions based on my role.
My career in the NHS started in 2011 after I graduated University with a BA Honours in Radio Production. The NHS was only ever supposed to be a stop gap between leaving University and finding a suitable role at a radio station. Eight years later, I’ve gone from working in administration to becoming a HSA and I haven’t looked back.