From Art to the Heart - Swansea University Graduate Gains Place on the NHS Scientist Training Programme

A Swansea University Cardiology graduate has successfully claimed a place on a prestigious NHS graduate scheme.

Hannah Heard, who graduated on the 9th July with a BSc in Clinical Physiology with Cardiology from the University’s College of Human and Health Sciences, will be one of only 17 Cardiac Scientists accepted onto the NHS’s Scientist Training Programme (STP).  The STP is a national training scheme for Healthcare Scientists in a variety of disciplines that aims to produce scientists that can function at the highest levels within the NHS.

Hannah, who is originally from Newcastle upon Tyne, didn’t take a traditional route into Cardiology, choosing to switch from an art degree to Clinical Physiology.  She said “During school we did a lesson on ECG heart tracings.  For some reason it always stuck with me and after a year at art school I decided I wanted a total change and remembered how much I liked learning about the heart.  I undertook work experience at my local hospital and loved it. I’ve not really looked back since!

“The course at Swansea must be one of the best - if not the best in the UK!  I think it has a perfect mix of excellent teaching and brilliant placements that make you want to do your best not just for yourself but for your University.  It’s such a small profession that everyone knows one another and the course has such an amazing reputation.”

Hannah, who will now move to London to begin her training on the STP at Guys and St Thomas Hospital, added: “Gaining a place on the STP is a scary and exciting prospect. I am very excited to continue learning more about cardiology and improving my patient care skills.  It will be a fantastic chance to build upon the knowledge and skills that I have gained whilst at Swansea.  However moving to a hospital in London provides different challenges to the hospitals in Wales but I can’t wait to overcome them!”

Hannah’s tutor and lecturer on the Clinical Physiology with Cardiology course Amanda Donkin said:  “Hannah applied through the direct entry route and had to undergo a very rigorous and highly competitive applications process to gain her place on this prestigious training scheme.  Hannah’s passion for Cardiac Science must have shone through as was often the case during her studies in Swansea.  

“Hannah is an independent thinker and unusual in that rarely do we see science students that have such an artistic talent.  This has given Hannah the ability to approach problems from a unique perspective and develop particularly creative solutions.  Hannah was popular with staff, students and clinical colleagues.  She was always prepared to help her fellow students and demonstrated a compassionate and caring approach to her clinical practice.”