• Question: How often do you work with patients?

    Asked by sophie17 on 17 Sep 2019.
    • Photo: Reka Nagy

      Reka Nagy answered on 17 Sep 2019:

      I don’t – at least not directly! But the idea is that my research will help create medications that can be used to treat patients, so indirectly, I’m still helping!

    • Photo: Cheryl Williams

      Cheryl Williams answered on 17 Sep 2019:

      I don’t work with patients, although I do test patient samples sent to the lab by their GP or hospital doctor. I do work closely with the consultant doctors in our lab who will quite often involve the scientists in any interesting cases. The doctors are the ones who have direct involvement. Biomedical scientists are responsible for around 80% of diagnoses made by doctors through the testing they provide but very rarely see the patient at any point.

    • Photo: Hayley Pincott

      Hayley Pincott answered on 17 Sep 2019:

      My job means I don’t work with patients, however I work in a biomedical science lab and provide a diagnostic service. This means that I work in an NHS lab where we get lots of different types of specimens ( some labs get blood, some get swabs), in my lab we get human tissue. We get the tissue and a machine will take out the water and replace it with wax, this is done overnight. The next day we cut really thin sections of this tissue and put it onto a slide to stain, the slide goes to a specialist doctor called a pathologist who then makes a report of their findings and a diagnosis is made. The doctors looking after the patients will know from our reports which medication/treatment to give a patient.

      So although I don’t see patients face to face I indirectly deal with their care and/or treatment all day every day.

      If you want to know more about working in a biomedical science lab here is a website to help explain what we do with different types of specimens.


    • Photo: Robert Ives

      Robert Ives answered on 17 Sep 2019:

      Like Reka, I don’t get to work with the patients, but I do sometimes receive feedback from clinical trials if patients are not taking the medicine because of the bad taste. Most children won’t take horrible tasting medicines, but quite a lot of adults wont either. When people are not taking their medicine, sometimes I am asked to look at the medicine and try and make it so that it tastes OK (not nice, just OK is fine). Sounds easy but it’s really tough.

      So, even though we might not be working with the patient, we are doing lots of great science that helps the patient (and the doctors, nurses, carers, etc) to feel better, live happier and longer.

    • Photo: Gill Harrison

      Gill Harrison answered on 17 Sep 2019:

      I mainly teach, but work with patients two or three days each month, so that I can keep up to date, but also because I love scanning.

    • Photo: Emma Crawford

      Emma Crawford answered on 18 Sep 2019:

      I don’t work with patients directly, but I work with their data daily! However, because of patient confidentiality I do not know any personal details about the patients, they are assigned a subject number which we collect all their results against during a clinical trial. It is then my job to analyse the data from all the patients at the end of the trial and present the results, we normally do this at a treatment level.

    • Photo: Shruti Turner

      Shruti Turner answered on 19 Sep 2019:

      I work with patients on and off. Mainly for when I’m doing testing with a new technology. I work with patients also to find out what they want and what would help them. So every few months I try to make contact. As I’m not a medical doctor, I don’t have clinics or surgery as I don’t treat people!

    • Photo: Robert Dempsey

      Robert Dempsey answered on 20 Sep 2019:

      It depends on the research we’re doing (as psychologists) – we tend to work with people who have personal experience of a mental health or physical health condition, but mostly when they are well. Because of the nature of our work, where we often ask participants to tell us about their experiences and times when they have been ill, we have to ensure that our studies don’t have a negative impact on the participant’s wellbeing (i.e. we don’t want to make things worse) – so we tend to sample people who are currently OK to take part in our research but who have lived experience of a particular condition.

    • Photo: Rebecca Dewey

      Rebecca Dewey answered on 25 Sep 2019:

      I need people to take part in my research and to have their brain scanned and their hearing tested. Sometimes that will be patients but sometimes that will be the general public. When I am scanning people for a study, I meet new people every day. I typically scan for a study for a year or so and then spend another year or two analysing and publishing the results and designing the next study.

    • Photo: Hannah Tanner

      Hannah Tanner answered on 10 Mar 2020:

      I don’t work directly with patients but I do work with samples from patients. For every test we do, we always remember that there is a sick person waiting for the results that will help the doctors given them the right treatments.