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The role of a biomedical scientist is to work alongside doctors and nurses to help diagnose and treat diseases. Most biomedical scientists in the UK work for the NHS, but there are also biomedical roles in the private healthcare industry, as well as for other public and private bodies (for instance the Food Standards Agency or pharmaceutical businesses). There are biomedical science opportunities in the NHS throughout the UK, including within Hospital Trusts, Public Health England and NHS Blood and Transplant.
Biomedical science in the NHS is split across 3 disciplines: infection sciences, blood sciences, and cellular sciences. There are also biomedical scientists working on genetics and molecular pathology.
The NHS Scientist Training Programme (NHS STP) is the UK’s major training scheme for biomedical scientists. To be eligible for the NHS STP you need to complete an accredited degree qualification in an approved subject – apprenticeships offer the opportunity to do so while getting hands-on experience in laboratories within hospitals, while also covering the fee costs for studying.
Work as a biomedical scientist is mostly laboratory-based, although there are occasionally opportunities to work directly with patients alongside clinicians, however there are strict guidelines about what level of contact you are permitted to have with patients.
Biomedical scientists can expect to: