Academy of Healthcare Science (2012) Good Scientific Practice. Page 9.
Domain 4 of the GSP states that healthcare scientists will undertake research, development and innovation to help the NHS address the challenges of healthcare. As part of the MSc in Clinical Science I have undertaken a research project which demonstrates my ability to fulfil criteria for this domain. The research project assessed the potential of using low pass whole genome sequencing to analyse MDS patients, which had the potential to streamline the analysis, reduce backlogs and therefore improve patient care. (SCC110:22)
Prior to starting the project I presented my research proposal at an MDT to a group of consultant clinicians. (SCC110:22) I was initially apprehensive about this experience as I had rarely attended these meetings and I was unsure of what to expect. However, presenting my project allowed me to gain feedback and engage with clinicians about the potential benefits to patient care. I presented complex ideas in an appropriate way and after a positive response I felt enthusiastic about the project. Going forward, I feel more confident at engaging ideas with clinical staff when discussing development ideas, and an appreciation for the importance of gaining feedback from others.
The project started out as a potential service development project, however, after analysing the data and troubleshooting I realised this technology was not going to be suitable to replace the current methods. Initially I felt this was a disappointing outcome, however, this allowed me to realise the importance of having a cost-effective service and the benefits of the current testing. The research project was delayed due to COVID-19 which meant that I had to organise my time effectively and prioritise work accordingly to ensure I met the deadline set by the University. Although the project became more challenging than anticipated, I utilised my time management and resilience skills that I will take forward and use in future as a Clinical Scientist.
Writing of the dissertation allowed me to critically read scientific literature and present results in an appropriate way. Critically reading scientific literature was an area I was less experienced in at the start of my training; however, completion of the MSc modules has assisted in my development. This has allowed me to improve at critically reading scientific literature in my clinical practice, for example, I have recently used evidence from publications when classifying variants for patients with musculoskeletal disorders. (SCC110:26) Interpretation of research data in a clinical context is an important skill of a clinical scientist to ensure high patient care and I aim to continue to develop these skills with experience. I am yet to complete a literature review and present a critical analysis of a publication as part of my STP training, but will be performing this before completion to contribute to the education of my colleagues. (Appendix:1)
I have sought opportunities to keep my knowledge of ongoing research up to date, such as the ‘Festival of Genomics’ which allowed me to learn from other scientists about current research that may affect future practice and benefit patients.(SCC110:11,SCC110:14) I recognised the importance of communicating to others about research projects and as a result, I submitted a poster to the University research day for my research project(SCC110:22) and have organised to present the findings to my GLH.(Appendix:1)
Following completion of the bioinformatics rotation in my training I had a new insight into the use of how processes could be improved. I used this knowledge to suggest improvements, including streamlining of audit data which resulted in a service development project. (SCC110:27) I felt this benefited the laboratory and making suggestions to improve services is a contribution I will continue as a scientist.
I feel I have demonstrated the ability to meet the requirements for GSP domain 4 and I will continue to use these skills in my career for research, innovation and service development to ensure patients continue to receive a high standard of care.