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Modernising Scientific Careers
Please find below a very brief synopsis of the new training programmes for the Modernising Scientific Careers training programmes.
Practitioner Training Programme (PTP)
A 3 year undergraduate degree programme leading to a BSc (Hons) in Healthcare Science (Cardiac Science).
Students undertake this degree at their own expense with 50 weeks of placement in a hospital setting. On qualification they seek employment as a Band 5 Cardiac Science Practitioner.
They will have some practical skills in ECG recording & interpretation, ambulatory ECG/BP recording and analysis, exercise ECG testing, catheter lab work (angiography) and pacemaker implantation. Currently all of this will have been undertaken in an adult setting.
The first of these graduates have completed their programme and are now employed or in further training. For information, in London these students were studying at St George’s University and Middlesex University as well as at a number of universities around England.
These PTP graduates will be ideally suited to ‘routine work’ in a department after some on the job training. Some will be happy to remain in such a role whilst others will naturally want to develop further. One route would be via the Scientist Training Programme.
Scientist Training Programme (STP)
An NHS funded 3 year training programme (training monies provided by Local HEE offices on acceptance of a valid business case).
Trainees are employed by the host department and follow a defined training programme involving work based competencies and an underpinning MSc qualification (block release at university). The trainee could be a current member of staff who meets the university masters entry criteria (in service trainee) or a new starter (with an appropriate 2:1 Science degree or a relevant master degree - a direct entry trainee).
On successful completion the trainee will be eligible to register as a Clinical Scientist with the Health & Social Care Professions Council.
Currently trainee scientists from congenital heart disease centres are following the adult focussed cardiac physiology pathway with work place based training in congenital heart disease.
Scientists will provide specialist skills within departments, contribute to research and provide leadership and education. A proportion of scientists may be ‘selected’ by departments for further development into Consultant Clinical Scientists.
What is HSST?
After completion of the STP, some of the Clinical Scientist may wish to apply to the National School of Healthcare Scientist to undertake the Higher Specialist Scientist Training programme (HSST) (5 years), under the supervision of a mentor, to become Consultant Clinical Scientists who bring high level scientific and clinical leadership to existing practice. There also options to access Accredited Specialist Practice Programmes (ASP at all levels of the career framework). STP specialist modules are available as separate units for CPD, similarly the HSST specialist modules can be accessed without the need to complete the whole of HSST.
The HSST curriculum has been developed under the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges as a modular Good Scientific Practice syllabus (GSP) that is divided into five domains that emphasise:
- clinical leadership development
- expert scientific and clinical practice
- research and innovation
- team-working behaviours
The work-based assessment will be assessed using:
- online learning and assessment tools (OLAT)
- E-Learning Portfolio (e-portfolio)
- case-based discussions (CBD)
- directly observed practical skills (DOPS)
- multi-source feedback (MSF)
- observed clinical events (OCE)
- competence review by supervisor
Completion of the work-based programme will result in a Certificate of Completion of Higher Scientist Training (CCHST). This is all capitulated by a final doctoral research project; both of these are required to achieve a Certificate of Attainment and admission to the Higher Specialist Scientist Register. At this point, clinical scientists will be eligible to apply for available Consultant Clinical Scientist posts.
There is an HSST option for congenital heart disease which can be found under this link:
Heading cardiac science.
[Content provided by Anne Banning, Paediatric Echocardiographer, University Hospital Southampton - last updated 14 November 2016]
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