STP trainees from Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust came together for healthcare science week to demonstrate the variety of work being carried out by healthcare scientists within the hospitals.
Trainees in clinical engineering, medical physics, genetics and clinical bioinformatics put on a display including games and models to help exhibit the work of scientists that is often not seen by the public. The stands included a demonstration of the personalisation of wheelchairs for support and comfort, Linac and chromosome models, along with games including ‘guess the chocolate from the MRI’.
Both patients and staff took a real interest in the stand, with several commenting that they didn’t realise how many scientists worked in the NHS, prompting interesting discussions about the range of scientists involved in patient pathways. STP trainee Nathaniel Scott said: “It was refreshing to hear so many people respond positively to hearing about work in the NHS and appreciate the contribution healthcare scientists make to patient treatment.”
The Chief Executive of the Hospital, Dr Bruno Holthof and the MP for Oxford East, the Rt Hon Andrew Smith were invited to hear about the work carried out by healthcare scientists in the trust, and to visit the display. The event was reported in the Oxford Mail and the Hospital newsletter, with the Rt Hon Andrew Smith quoted saying; “It’s critical that people understand the huge contribution that scientific and technical advances are making to patients’ treatment.”
Overall the event was very successful, and the trainees gained a rewarding experience directly by interacting with patients and their families. Trainee, Emma Parker commented: “The day benefited me from the aspect of trying to explain complex ideas in an understandable way… It was also great for me to hear some of what the other trainees get up to and quiz them about their subjects and work”.