What is a Clinical Technologist?
Medicine now uses cutting-edge technology in areas such as radiotherapy, bioengineering, dialysis, laser procedures, magnetic resonance imaging and ultrasound. Clinical technologists (also known as medical technologists) are responsible for maintaining, monitoring and operating the increasingly sophisticated equipment and instruments used to diagnose illness and to treat patients.
As a clinical technologist, you could work in one of a range of specialist areas. In nuclear medicine, you will most likely be involved with patient imaging - injecting patients, imaging patients possibly with SPECT/CT equipment and analysing results, you may also be responsible for purifying radioactive materials, calculating the required dose and disposing of waste material safely. If your expertise is in electronic or mechanical engineering, you might be helping to design, construct and maintain specialist clinical equipment, sometimes for an entire hospital.
Most clinical technologists are based in hospital medical physics departments but they may work in almost any part of the hospital. Renal technologists visit kidney dialysis patients at home. You can expect to work closely with scientists and doctors, as new equipment, techniques and instruments are introduced. While some clinical technologists spend much of their time in the laboratory or workshop, many have contact with patients and all are involved in technical innovation that has a direct benefit for patients.
As well as your technical expertise, you need a strong sense of responsibility and meticulous attention to detail, even under pressure. Healthcare professionals rely on your skills to ensure that their equipment works safely and effectively. You must also be sympathetic and reassuring as you will sometimes come into direct contact with patients who may be frightened by the complex machinery, .
For further information about being a Clinical Technologist please look at the NHS website.
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