Clinical Haematologist

Research and Development

 

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Clinical Haematologists investigate and diagnose blood and other genetic disorders by studying cellular composition of blood and blood-producing tissues. FutureGrowthModerate

Haematologists specialise in diseases affecting the blood. They are concerned with any abnormality of the blood, including blood cells and coagulation. Some diseases of the blood include anaemia, leukaemia, lymphoma, polycythaemia and haemophilia.

Haematologists usually begin their examinations by looking at a person's nails, hands, skin, hair, eyes and mouth. They would also examine lymph nodes and order any necessary blood tests.

 

Knowledge, skills and attributes

Haematologists need:

  • the ability to communicate effectively with people with a wide range of hospital and medical colleagues

  • the ability to keep a cool head in an emergency

  • a willingness to respond to new ideas, as disease management regimes change rapidly

  • empathy towards patients with chronic and terminal disorders

  • the ability to apply scientific knowledge to patient care

  • excellent organisational skills

  • good problem-solving and decision-making skills

  • the ability to work well within multidisciplinary teams

  • leadership ability

Vials 
(Source: AMA)

Duties and Tasks

  • Examines patients to determine the nature and extent of problems after referral from general medical practitioners and other medical specialists, and undertakes laboratory tests and diagnostic procedures.

  • Analyses test results and other medical information to make diagnoses.

  • Prescribes and administers drugs, as well as remedial and therapeutic treatment and procedures.

  • Records medical information and data.

  • Reports specified contagious and notifiable diseases to government health and immigration authorities.

  • May admit or refer patients to hospitals.

  • May consult other medical specialists.

Working conditions

Haematologists work within specialist departments in hospitals - a great deal of their work is laboratory-based. Haematology services must be available at all times and as such haematologists can work unsocial hours.

Some haematologists work directly with patients in a clinical role and as such there are opportunities to work in private practice and have more regular working conditions.

Tools and technologies

Although automated analysers exist for the bulk of the more routine work in this field, specialised laboratory technqiques are still required in the areas of blood transfusion, coagulation and thrombotic disorders, haemoglobinopathies and white cell immunophenotyping.

Haematologists experience ongoing innovative clinical and laboratory developments, including rapid advances in molecular and cell biology. Not only do these developments mean the use of new tools and technologies, it also provides opportunities for ongoing research.

Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a clinical haematologist, you must first become a qualified medical practitioner and then specialise in clinical haematology. To become a medical practitioner, you need to study a degree in medicine. Alternatively, you can study a degree in any discipline followed by a postgraduate degree in medicine.


Some universities in Australia offer relevant courses. To then specialise in clinical haematology, doctors can apply to the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) to undertake further training and ultimately receive fellowship.

To be eligible for this specialist training, on completion of your medical degree, you must work in the public hospital system for a minimum of two years (internship and residency).


Did You Know?

Australian Red Cross

General Statistics - Blood Donation


One in three Australians will need blood or blood products in their lifetime
One in 30 Australians give blood each year (3%)
One blood donation can save up to three lives
Australia needs more than 29,000 donations every week



Donor statistics for 2018-19


523,688 Australians voluntarily gave blood, plasma or platelets to help others
100,099 new blood donors welcomed
32% of Australia's blood donations made by members of Lifeblood Teams
1,427,659 individual blood donations by Australian donors
978,196 blood products delivered to hospitals and healthcare providers to help Australian patients

Collection Centres

96 blood donor centres and mobile centres

(Source: Australian Red Cross)

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