Durham University, Newcastle University
Master of Physics (Durham), Master of Science (Clinical Science) (Newcastle)
As a scientist, only in Medical Physics
Newcastle-upon-Tyne Hospitals NHS FT.
Favourite thing to do in my job: Applying scientific thinking to practical problems in the hospital.
I live to travel but doing science everyday is a good runner-up prize!
I live in Darlington which is in the north of England. I grew up in Leicester but I’ve accidentally been living in the north for 7 years now. It is colder up here but I love the area, the different accents, the freedom in the countryside, and the vibrancy of the cities.
If I could, I would travel all the time but unfortunately I have to work for money. Do I eat, sleep, and breath physics? No, but I am lucky enough to find myself doing a job I enjoy which allows me to apply my skills and knowledge to help other people. Work to live, not the reverse.
When at home, I enjoy playing badminton, board games, cooking curry, and singing badly to myself.
I am a Clinical Scientist working in Nuclear Medicine
I am a Clinical Scientist. That is a protected title, which means you can find my name on a register. A bit like a doctor, if you’re not on the register you don’t get the title.
When people think of the NHS and of hospitals, they think of doctors and nurses. However, there is an ever greater emphasis on getting genuine scientists into hospitals. We scientists do not have the same breadth of knowledge as a doctor but we know our particular fields in great detail. We also bring a new way of thinking to the health service with a training that emphasises innovation and optimisation- essentially scientists make things better!
As a Clinical Scientist, I have clinical work, management work, development work, but also conduct research. The research we do isn’t at the cutting edge of science and technology but does have the greatest chance of being actually see the benefits of my work being put into action to improve lives.
My Typical Day
There are no typical days. What I enjoy is the variety I have day to day, hour to hour. I work in a Nuclear Medicine department. Various activities I have helped with in the last month or so (in no particular order):
Processing blood samples.
Reviewing radiation protection procedures.
Reviewing patient pathways to improve their care.
Visiting theatres (surgical!) to watch some procedures.
Handling radioactive materials.
Providing scientific advice.
Providing radiation protection advice.
Helping with diagnostic scans.
Delivery of nuclear medicine therapy.
Education and outreach.
Enacting legislation (laws) into our practice.
Checking radioactive drugs before they go into patients.
Dealing with incidents as they occur and writing reports.
Making decisions that will affect the patient’s care.
Reporting on clinical images.
And more! In general it is difficult to plan every day as lots of things just ‘crop up’. My least favourite jobs are those that keep me behind a desk and my favourite are those where I have to do practical activities…. though I do have a slight obsession with Excel spreadsheets!
What I'd do with the prize money
Nuclear Medicine and Medical Physics are very unknown areas. In the NHS, money in budgets for new resources for outreach are difficult to come by. The money would go towards new display boards and posters to take to schools. I would also use the money to get model equipment made, so even though students may not be able to play with the multi-million pound ‘real thing’, I could take the models into schools so people can have a greater appreciation of what goes on in hospitals.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
The small achievements everyday to help people on their way.
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
I never stopped asking ‘why?’. Being a scientist is wanting to find out the answers.
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Not really, sorry!
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Ice climbing up a glacier.
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
1. Unlimited money. 2. Ability to fly. 3. A quick transition to global low-carbon economics that removes world hunger, poverty, and man-made climate change in one swoop.