So….. I took the opportunity to call on people to write something for HCS week. The Comms teams pushed back saying, “do you want to lead by example”? So here i go!
My name is Duncan Sleeman and I have been in the field of Cardiac Science for what will be 21 year this summer. I know what you’re thinking! That can’t be true, looking at this picture below he can’t be a day over 24 years of age!
When I started along my career path, we were called medical technical officers (MTO’s). As time progressed we changed to Cardiac Physiologists and now as part of the wider Healthcare Science cohort of roles we’re named Cardiac Healthcare Scientists.
My career has been split across working for the NHS, the private sector, device industry and then returning back to the NHS. My career has allowed me to witness great things for both our patients and the colleagues I have had the great opportunity to work with along the way.
My time is now split between being the head of department at the Royal Cornwall Hospital, lecturing in Cardiac Physiology at the University of the West of England (UWE) and my seat on the SCST council. You’ll no doubt hear this a lot over the next few days as the SCST release the different pieces. However, I believe I am lucky to work with the greatest team of Cardiac Scientists in the country!! Sometimes as heads of department we can get so lost in budgets, targets and politics, we miss the opportunity to just step back and marvel at the work our colleagues are doing on a daily basis! I am acutely aware of this, and try to take the time to step back and just watch the team do their thing each and every day.
People ask what is the best bit about my job? In answer, I always have two replies. Number one is the patient interaction. Although I’m there to complete a diagnostic procedure, my time with patients often ends up discussing their personal feelings on their condition and their fears and hopes for the future. I feel blessed that the patient feels comfortable to open up and confide in me in what is often a dark concerning moment for them. The conversation often ends up with humour and a little bit of mickey taking about the consultants.
Number two, and likely the biggest thing for me nowadays, are my colleagues. I get a real kick out of watching colleagues excel in what they do and exceed their own expectations. Whether it’s in my department or the wider Cardiac Scientist community. I feel that now, quite far into my career, my role is to develop my colleagues and the several students I see coming thought the HCS training programs. In 21 years I’ve never had a day where I’ve thought “oh no I’ve got to go to work”, how lucky am I.