Critical Care Science

Critical Care Science is about caring for patients who are critically ill.

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Healthcare science staff working in this field are responsible for a range of life support monitoring and therapeutic systems.  They need an understanding of relevant and up-to-date clinical, scientific and technical principles and practice and their application to broad areas of patient care (including complex and often non-routine intervention).

Key roles include:

  • undertaking complex scientific and clinical roles, including those working directly with patients
  • providing advice to medical, nursing and other staff working in a critical care setting about the safe and effective use of critical care technologies, ¬†from monitoring and supporting critically ill patients to diagnostic and therapeutic techniques
  • providing a maintenance and troubleshooting service supporting the critical care team at the bedside, with respect to all aspects of medical technology such as ventilators, renal replacement therapy equipment, physiological measurement monitors
  • establishing and managing satellite laboratories and point-of-care testing, covering areas such as blood gases, co-oximetry, electrolytes, metabolytes, and haematology including coagulation profiles
  • setting up and providing a renal replacement therapy service within the critical care areas including setting up equipment and contributing to patient care programs
  • providing software and hardware support for electronic patient databases in critical care areas
  • providing scientific support for the transfer/transport of critical ill and anaesthetised patients

They are also likely to be involved in:

  • quality assurance of diagnostic and therapeutic techniques and technologies including decontamination systems
  • providing on-call services as a lone worker requiring the autonomous working including emergency call-outs to any critical care area, supporting patients on life support systems, and troubleshooting equipment essential to the safe running of each area
  • training other staff working in a critical care environment and the wider health setting
  • analysing and reviewing scientific, technical and medical literature
  • clinically evaluating new critical care technologies and managing their introduction into clinical use
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More about critical care science

Stefanie is a critical care scientist at Royal Papworth Hospital. She talks about the role of healthcare scientists across the NHS, providing direct patient care and supporting, training and educating colleagues.

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Last updated on 5th April 2022