Favourite Thing: My favourite thing to do in science is to be able to use fascinating equipment to enable me to see inside the human body to identify problems and help the patient get the best treatment needed.
MSc- University of Salford (2013-current), BSc- University of Sheffield (2010-2013), St Wilfrid’s C of E High School (2002-2009)
BSc Hons Biomedical Science, A levels (AAB), GCSE’s- (10 A*-A)
Royal Cornwall Hospital, University of Sheffield, Huntley’s of Samlesbury
Clinical vascular scientist trainee
Dr Valda Gazzard
Work hard, play hard!
I live in Truro, Cornwall with two friends and our cat. I live 10 minutes away from some beautiful beaches- perfect in summer when you can finish work and head straight to the beach for a BBQ or a surf. I enjoy staying active by running, cycling and surfing. I am currently on the scientific training programme (STP) where I specialise in vascular science. It is a 3 year course with my work based practical placement based at Royal Cornwall Hospital and completing my master’s through the University of Salford- which means quite a lot of travelling.
Vascular Clinical Scientist
Using high technology science to enable us to listen and obtain some amazing images of our arteries and veins in our bodies so that we can help to diagnose important problems so that the doctors can try to fix them.
My Typical Day
Performing ultrasound scans on patients to identify problems with their arteries and veins.
A typical day is busy from the start- I see patients from a range of clinics and those from the wards in the hospital throughout the day. I use ultrasound (just like pregnant ladies have) technology to be able to see inside the body to look at the blood vessels. I can look at the blood flowing through the arteries and veins and can listen to the blood flow to see how fast it is flowing. I see patients’ with a range of vascular problems- those with deep vein thrombosis to stroke patients. I use the ultrasound imaging to see if there is any problems with their vascular system that could be causing their problems. Once I have imaged the patient I will write a report on what I have seen and what could be wrong with the patient. The results of our scanning help guide the doctors on the best treatment to help the patient.
As I am a trainee I am constantly still learning new things and skills but also means part of my day involves revising hard for exams/writing essays (this bit is less fun)! After a long but interesting day at work I like to wind down with a run, a gym session or a catch up with friends.
What I'd do with the money
Put on an interactive open day for young people to promote vascular science and the STP.
I would try to put on an open day in our hospital to allow students to be able to come into the department and get a really insight and hands on experience of vascular science and what our job really entails. They would get the opportunity to have a play with the ultrasound machine on jelly phantoms and to use hand held Dopplers to listen to their own arteries and veins. The event would also involve hands on demonstrations by other healthcare scientists to promote the diverse areas of science used within the hospital. The day would be a great opportunity to promote these growing areas of science, careers available to students once they leave school and the training programmes that they can go on and the routes to these. I would use the money to create educational resources i.e.- handouts, posters etc and audio-visual aids.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Friendly, determined and caring
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Too many to choose from!
What's your favourite food?
Anything mexican mmm
What is the most fun thing you've done?
I have done too many things. travelling, a skydive and getting to fly a plane
What did you want to be after you left school?
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Not really I was too much of a teacher’s pet.
What was your favourite subject at school?
Science of course especially chemistry and biology
What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?
Become a STEM ambassador and getting involved in events such as the Big Bang Fair
What or who inspired you to become a scientist?
Having a number of family members working for the NHS, I knew from a young age that I wanted to work in the healthcare profession. I have always had a passion for science from a very young age- I was always wanted science sets for my birthdays/Christmases. In addition I wanted a job that would benefit people; therefore this job allows me to combine my love for science whilst benefiting people.
If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?
A scuba diving instructor
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
To have the money to travel more, to qualify as a vascular scientist, to be able to run a marathon
Tell us a joke.
What is the fastest way to determine the sex of a chromosome? Pull down its’ genes!