Healthcare science staff from County Durham and Darlington NHS
Foundation Trust will be celebrating Healthcare Science Week from
14 to 18 March, by opening their doors to schools and the
Dr Alison Mackie, Consultant Medical Physicist and Clinical
Director of Medical Physics, said, "Healthcare Science Week is an
excellent opportunity to raise awareness and interest people in the
work of healthcare scientists. Many people don't realise the
essential work we do, sometimes behind the scenes, but we're also
often involved in direct patient care.
"Medical physics and clinical engineering, for example, is one
of the most exciting parts of the NHS to work in, combining physics
and engineering with healthcare. Healthcare scientists and
engineers make up 5% of the total NHS workforce and complement the
clinical role in all kinds of ways - it's a myth that we only work
in laboratories and never treat patients directly. We push
the boundaries and innovate, to constantly improve services.
"An example of the work we do is a computer programme written by
one of our scientists, Dr Robyn Cooke, PhD, which determines
whether a patient has Alzheimer's disease or another type of
dementia. Patients suspected of having one of these undergo a
scan, but it can be difficult for the human eye to tell if the scan
is normal or not. Robyn's computer programme is much better
at this and has already helped correctly diagnose several patients
we weren't sure about. This is really important as these two
diseases require different treatments.
"Everyone is welcome to come along to our open days and we're
particularly keen to ensure children are aware of the healthcare
science professions and how rewarding these can be."
The Medical Physics Department at University Hospital of North
Durham will be open on Tuesday 15 March from 9.30am to 12.30pm and
on Thursday 17 March from 1.30pm to 4.30pm.
The department at Darlington Memorial Hospital will be open on
Wednesday 16 March from 1.30pm to 4.30pm and on Friday 18 March
from 9.30am to 12.30pm.
Booking for individuals isn't necessary but larger group visits
must be arranged by contacting Darlington Memorial Hospital on
01325 743351 or University Hospital of North Durham on 0191 333
2220 for more information.
'As I was very, very nervous, I must have been the worst patient
ever and they were brilliant with me and I can't thank them enough
- could you please pass on my sincere thanks.'
Patient, Hysteroscopy Unit, Chester-le-Street Community