Our President has written about recognising and celebrating the hard work Healthcare Scientists do day-to-day to ensure patient safety and wellbeing.
Healthcare Scientists work in a variety of branches of science. Despite being experts in the specific and interesting scientific and technical aspects within them, healthcare scientists have one prime directive that overrides all other drivers of our job, and that is patient safety.
Running an assay to measure a specific biochemical metabolite, or ensuring labelling systems are in place, requires the accuracy and precision to ensure the correct result is obtained so that the patient pathway is ideal, and management and treatment of their disease/condition is appropriate and beneficial.
The same is true for ensuring a piece of medical equipment is functioning correctly and safely or making sure a transoesophageal echo, for example, is measured correctly – patient safety is paramount. Some healthcare scientists work face to face and directly ensure patient safety – avoiding trips and falls. They ensure patients come to no harm with the help of systems that are put in place to protect them from any physical risks incurred in diagnostics or treatment. Our training programmes put patient safety first, teaching our juniors to look at the patient before the monitor or screen. With safety, comes the respect and kindness of the patient’s welfare, so the patient not only is safe but also feels safe too.
World Patient Safety Day recognises the efforts we all put into our work in healthcare science every day to ensure patients are safe and truly cared for at all times.
Professor Brendan Cooper