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.
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.
To be a medical technical officer, you should have:
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.
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Electrophysiological Technologists' Association
Association for Respiratory Technology and Physiology