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How to become a Medical Technical Officer

medical technical officer careers

What does a Medical Technical Officer do?

Medical technical officers, sometimes referred to as clinical or medical technologists, work alongside doctors, nursing staff and other healthcare professionals in hospitals. They use sophisticated scientific equipment, recording and interpreting readings to aid clinical staff in the diagnosis and treatment of patients. Some officers may be involved in maintaining the equipment they use.

The role of the medical technical officer will vary depending on the area they specialise in, which can include audiology, cardiology, neurophysiology, respiratory physiology, gastroenterology, perfusion, and renal dialysis.

Also see the profiles on operating department practitioner, clinical engineer, and medical physicist.

What's the working environment like working as a Medical Technical Officer?

Medical technical officers work 37.5 hours a week which may involve shift work and on-call duties. Part-time work may be available.

The work could be in a workshop, clinic, on the wards, in intensive care units or in operating theatres, depending on the area of specialism. Occasionally there may be home visits to patients. Specialist equipment and computers are routinely used. Clean and sometimes sterile working conditions can be a requirement, so protective clothing may be necessary. The work can involve sitting or standing for long periods, and some lifting of heavy equipment. Patient contact is likely.

What does it take to become a Medical Technical Officer?

To be a medical technical officer, you should have:

  • an ability and interest in physical sciences, biology, engineering and electronics
  • an interest in medicine and the desire to contribute to patient care and treatment
  • a mature approach to work with the ability to cope with responsibility
  • the ability to concentrate for long periods of time, with attention to accuracy and detail
  • the ability to work alongside a team of other professionals
  • the ability to reassure nervous patients.

Medical Technical Officer Career Opportunities

Most medical technical officers work in the NHS, but there are opportunities in private hospitals. With sufficient experience, medical technical officers can apply for senior posts where they are responsible for running a clinic and reporting to consultants on the patients they see. Most senior officers would also have a teaching role in the hospital.

Some medical technical officers take degrees and may become clinical scientists.

There are some opportunities for those specialising in electronics and engineering to work for manufacturers of medical equipment or firms specialising in servicing and repair.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Medical Technical Officer that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

NHS Learning and Development Service
Tel: 08000 150 850
Email: learning@nhscareers.nhs.uk

NHS Careers
PO Box 376
Bristol
BS99 3EY
Tel: 0845 606 0655
www.nhscareers.nhs.uk

Electrophysiological Technologists' Association
www.epta.50megs.com

Association for Respiratory Technology and Physiology
www.artp.org.uk

Courses to help you become a Medical Technical Officer