A guide to working as a vascular scientist in the UK

What is a vascular scientist?

Vascular science relates to how blood flows in the body. If you work in vascular science, you’ll use ultrasound and other non-invasive techniques to image and assess the blood flow of patients with diseases of the arteries and veins.

Vascular scientists work with both in and outpatients. The majority of patients are seen to either suffer from advanced illnesses, are advanced in years, or have some form of disability. You’ll also help to diagnose a range of conditions, including strokes, varicose veins, and aneurysms.

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Duties and responsibilities

  • Using an ultrasound machine to carry out investigations. However, you may use other equipment for measuring blood circulation in vital organs, limbs, and the brain.
  • Working closely with patients daily. As a result, your bedside manner must be impeccable. You work with the patient to prepare them for their upcoming exam and will have to explain the procedures they’ll undergo.
  • Reporting your findings, writing reports and reviewing the patient’s records. This information then informs the next course of action.
  • Cooperating with nurses, radiologists, and vascular surgeons. Being able to work in a team is important in this role.

Where do vascular scientists work?

Most vascular scientists work in clinics or hospitals, often as part of a larger ultrasound department. However, you may be called out to provide assessments at a GP’s office, particularly for patients who may struggle to travel to a clinic. You may also carry out your work in a ward, intensive care, or the operating theatre. You’ll likely be in a dedicated department.

You may also work in any of the following settings:

  • NHS hospitals
  • Private hospitals
  • Community hospitals
  • Private clinics
  • Mobile vans
  • Universities

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What qualifications does a vascular scientist need?

To practise as a vascular scientist in the UK, you’ll need to have:

  • Excellent references, practical experiences from university if a new graduate
  • Society for Vascular Technology (SVT) accreditation is desirable
  • It’s beneficial to have a relevant post-graduate degree in specialist areas

What is a vascular scientist’s salary?

  • Band 7: £43,742 to £50,056
  • Band 8: £50,952 to £96,376

Working as a locum vascular scientist

Working as a locum vascular scientist can differ to a full-time role in the following ways:

  • 6-12+ month contracts available
  • Work weekends and evenings for enhanced rates
  • Expectation for a locum hit the ground running without much training and/or supervision
  • Pick where and what area of physiology you want to work in
  • Gain experience using different computer systems and settings
  • Tend to avoid bureaucracy
  • Greater flexibility with hours
  • Paid per hour
  • Increased rate
  • 1 weeks’ notice if you wish is to try a different role
  • Weekly payments

Locum vascular scientist pay rates

  • Band 7: £45-50+ per hour
  • Band 8a-8b: £50 – £65+ per hour

How to become a vascular scientist

You can apply for a place to specialise in vascular science on the graduate-entry NHS Scientist Training Programme. You must have First Class Honours or 2.1 in an undergraduate degree or an integrated master’s degree in a pure or applied science subject relevant to the specialism for which you’re applying.

For STP positions in the physiological sciences, which include vascular science, the most commonly accepted degrees will be in:

  • Physiology
  • Pure or applied physics
  • Engineering
  • Biology
  • Human biology
  • Sports science with significant scientific content

With experience as a registered clinical scientist, you can apply for Higher Specialist Scientist Training (HSST).

Vascular scientist opportunities with Pulse

Looking to become a vascular scientist? Register with Pulse today. Alternatively, search our vascular scientist jobs now to start your career with Pulse.

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