Beth Crockford

Job Title

Apprentice Cardiac Physiologist

Is your role clinical or non-clinical?


When you were in school, did you want to join the NHS?

Yes, I have always wanted to work in healthcare, and initially I wanted to be a midwife. I later discovered the role of Cardiac Physiologists in Healthcare Science.

Tell us about your job

Cardiac Physiology involves a variety of cardiac diagnostic procedures, which can be both non-invasive and invasive. These include: electrocardiography, pacemaker implantation and checks, ambulatory ECG and blood pressure monitoring, echocardiograms and procedures such as cardiac catheterisation.

A typical day for me may involve supporting a colleague with an outpatient pacemaker clinic in the morning. Usually we see up to 6 patients in this clinic and make sure that their pacemakers are all working as they should. The afternoon could be spent analysing and reporting patient’s ambulatory ECG recordings.

How did you come to work in the NHS?

During my A levels I volunteered at my local hospital to get some healthcare experience. I began a degree in Midwifery after I left school, however after a year of study, decided it was not the right career for me. I then re-joined the NHS a few years later to begin a degree apprenticeship in Cardiac Physiology. The apprenticeship is a fantastic way to learn on the job and gain first hand clinical experience from the word go. It has enabled me to continue to earn at the same time as progress into a new NHS career.

What are some challenges?

Working and studying at the same time can be difficult at times (but it’s also very rewarding).

What do you love about your job?

I love meeting and working with so many people. Every single day is different and I am always learning new things.

Which clinical staff support you in your role?

I work with a very supportive team of Cardiographers, Cardiac Physiologists, Consultant Cardiologists, Radiographers, Nurses, Doctors and Physician Associates.

Which non-clinical staff support you in your role?

My non-clinical colleagues include Secretaries, Receptionists and CBS officers.

Is there career progression in your role?

There are many opportunities for career progression as a Cardiac Physiologist. After qualifying there are various specialist pathways, such as echocardiography, cardiac catheterisation and/or pacing. Some of these require further training and qualifications, such as the Echocardiography Training Program (ETP) and British Society of Echocardiography (BSE) qualifications for echocardiography. Progression into leadership and management roles are also an option with further training and experience.

What would you say to a young person thinking of joining the NHS?

Take your time to research various NHS careers to find the right one for you, there are so many options! Working in the NHS is fun, rewarding and keeps you learning every single day.

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