Healthcare science

What is healthcare science?

There are 50,000 NHS healthcare scientists. Compared to the 1.3 million strong NHS workforce, this is only a small proportion, however we are a hugely important and very diverse workforce. Collectively, we perform over 80% of all diagnoses. We are involved in the entire patient pathway, from diagnosis, decision-making, treatment, and rehabilitation across 54 specialisms (areas) of medicine.

Being a healthcare scientist is exciting, interesting, fulfilling and challenging, and there is a role to suit everyone.

NHS England National School of Healthcare Science (NSHCS) explains what the healthcare science specialities are.

Healthcare science is split into four main areas, each with its own sub-disciplines:

Analytical toxicology
Anatomical pathology
Blood transfusion science/transplantation
Clinical biochemistry including paediatric metabolic biochemistry
Clinical genetics/genetic science
Clinical embryology and reproductive science
Clinical immunology
Cytopathology including cervical cytology
Electron microscopy
External quality assurance
Haemostasis and thrombosis
Clinical immunology
Histocompatibility and immunogenetics
Molecular pathology of acquired disease
Molecular pathology of infection
Tissue banking

Autonomic neurovascular function
Cardiac physiology
Clinical perfusion science
Critical care science
Gastrointestinal physiology
Ophthalmic and vision science
Respiratory physiology
Urodynamic science
Vascular science

Biomedical engineering
Clinical measurement and development
Clinical pharmaceutical science
Diagnostic radiology and MR physics
Equipment management and clinical engineering
Medical electronics and instrumentation
Medical engineering design
Clinical photography
Nuclear medicine
Radiation protection and monitoring
Radiotherapy physics
Reconstructive science
Rehabilitation engineering
Renal dialysis technology
Ultrasound and non-ionising radiation

Physical sciences
Health informatics science
Physiological informatics