The role of a Clinical Scientist


Clinical Scientists work closely with other healthcare professionals, in research, development, testing and maintenance of specialist medical equipment and play a central role in developing, planning and implementing patient treatment programmes.  

Duties vary depending on the area a clinical scientist works in. However, typical roles include: 

  • commissioning, assessing and ensuring the safe operation of specialist equipment used by medical staff in areas such as radiotherapy, ultrasound, nuclear medicine, laser technology and physiological monitoring 
  • planning and supervising radiotherapy treatment in discussion with medical and other staff 
  • speaking with patients to explain treatment procedures and possible side effects 
  • liaising closely with doctors to add technical results to patient reports 
  • negotiating and agreeing changes to patient diagnosis techniques in response to new procedures 
  • processing complex patient image data 
  • supporting clinical trials 
  • developing techniques to show what's happening in the body using X-ray, MRI, laser, ultrasound and ultraviolet technologies
  • researching new equipment developments and techniques, review existing local practice, advise on procurement of new equipment and compile reports to initiate changes 
  • overseeing the quality control of equipment to ensure that correct and consistent results or outputs are achieved and ensure that ongoing maintenance routines are followed 
  • training and advising medical physics technicians on new equipment and protocols 
  • lecturing and training other health professionals, including radiographers, nurses and doctors, in clinical practice 
  • drafting and developing policies for operating equipment 
  • making audit visits to hospital departments to check compliance with health and safety legislation. 

The title of ‘Clinical Scientist’ is protected and can only be used through registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) upon meeting their requirements. In order to reach registration, trainees must complete a relevant training route.