There are a variety of career pathways that you can take in audiology, one of which is to specialise as a clinical scientist in audiology. One route in becoming one is through the Scientist Training Programme (STP). Below is a brief insight into the course.
What is it?
In a nutshell, it is a 3 year training programme, employed on a fixed term contract within an NHS department, whilst undertaking the relevant MSc degree. Throughout the course you have various online portfolio requirements, which include case-based discussions, observations and documentation. You can either apply as in service or direct candidate. For audiology, you would complete the ‘Neurosensory sciences’ stream.
How do I get on?
All applicants would need to complete the online application form, questions and aptitude tests. If successful, interviews will also take place.
What will I get out of it?
At the end of the course you will have experience in a range of settings within both audiology and other departments. You will have had the opportunity to undertake an elective in an area related to your field, or in the wider healthcare setting.
You will have also worked towards obtaining a Master’s in Clinical Science.
Providing you have passed al components of the STP, you could then be eligible to register with the Health Care Professions Council as a Clinical Scientist, with your certificate of Attainments as provided by the Academy for Healthcare Science. Following this, you can then look for opportunities to work as a clinical scientist.
What is it actually like?
Form my personal experience it is a lot of hard work that requires dedication and organisation. I was always interested in pursuing audiology further and this was the perfect opportunity for me to do so. I was able to develop my knowledge and skills in vestibular, paediatric and adult audiology. I performed an elective abroad as well as within the UK, looking at a range of cochlear implant services. I also had a better appreciation of the patient journey having completed placements in imaging to pathology to neurophysiology and genetics! All this I don’t think I would have been able to do if I was not on the course. I have since worked in a university setting and the experiences I have gained I am able to share with students.
All information was correct at time of posting. For up to date and more information, visit the National School of Healthcare Science’s webpage here.
Clinical Scientist hyperlink: https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/job-profiles/clinical-scientist
Scientist Training Programme (STP): http://www.nshcs.hee.nhs.uk/join-programme/nhs-scientist-training-programme