Similar careers

How to become an Intensive Care Unit Technician

intensive care unit technician careers

What does a Intensive Care Unit Technician do?

Intensive care unit technicians (sometimes called critical care technologists) are health care scientists who ensure the safe and effective use of technological systems used in the care of critically ill patients. They work alongside doctors, nurses and other paramedical staff such as physiotherapists, dietitians and pharmacists in often pressurised conditions. There is a lot of contact with patients and distressed relatives.

The role involves cleaning, servicing and calibrating equipment, setting up and operating it, monitoring it during use and regularly checking readings. The types of equipment used include:

  • blood analysers which measure biochemical factors
  • ventilators which help patients breathe
  • haemofiltration and other life support machinery
  • defibrillators and monitors which measure vital body functions such as heart rate, blood pressure and brain activity
  • infusion pumps and syringe drivers which deliver drugs to patients.
Technicians advise staff and provide training on the use of the equipment. Other tasks include dealing with sales representatives, ordering equipment and consumables such as medical gases and fluids from the pharmacy, and routine administration tasks such as processing related invoices and paperwork. They may be responsible for quality control, management of relevant equipment and for organising the on-call rotas of other technical staff.

What's the working environment like working as a Intensive Care Unit Technician?

Intensive care unit technicians work 37.5 hours a week, which includes shifts and an on-call system to provide continuous cover.

Work involves standing or sitting for long periods, bending and carrying heavy equipment, and handling hazardous chemicals and substances. Use of protective overalls, coats, gloves, glasses and masks is routinely necessary.

What does it take to become a Intensive Care Unit Technician?

To be an intensive care unit technician, you should:

  • have an aptitude for and an interest in physical sciences, biology and medicine
  • be able to work accurately and precisely when under pressure
  • be able to concentrate for long periods of time
  • have a desire to contribute to patient care and treatment
  • be able to work as part of a team of professionals and be comfortable with responsibility
  • be able to cope with distressing situations
  • have an aptitude for electronics and work with sophisticated equipment
  • be able to put patients at their ease.

Intensive Care Unit Technician Career Opportunities

Intensive care unit technicians are employed mainly in the larger NHS hospitals. Promotion may be to senior technician or supervisor. Many move to a specialist area of work for advancement into the highest grades with management responsibilities.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Intensive Care Unit Technician 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
BS99 3EY
Tel: 0845 606 0655

Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine
Fairmount House
230 Tadcaster Road
YO24 1ES
Tel: 01904 610821

Society of Critical Care Technologists

Facts and Stats:

  • The biggest blood transfusion was carried out in 1970 and totalled 1,080 litres.
  • The record number of surviving multiple births is seven, recorded in both Illinois, USA and Saudi Arabia.
  • The thumb has a special section, separate from the area that controls the fingers, reserved for it in the brain.

Courses to help you become a Intensive Care Unit Technician