Careers in Healthcare S1 E6 Healthcare science: Medical technical officer

After finishing his career as a professional footballer, Gavin returned to his love of science. He’s now working as a medical technical officer with NHSScotland. In this episode, he tells us all about his interesting route into a career in healthcare science.

Gavin first started working as a medical technical officer in virology when coronavirus testing was beginning. He says it was really exciting to see how he and his team could support all the testing being done. They analysed tests coming from care home staff and patients and from hospital staff. There was lots of new testing equipment arriving, so it was a very exciting time to be joining the team. 

The best part of being a medical technical officer

The variety of his new role as a medical technical officer in microbiology is what Gavin loves. He gets to work across every specialty in the department, doing 4-week placements to support different types of biomedical scientists. The variety of machines, techniques and new things he’s getting to learn at the minute keep things exciting. Every day is different!  

Despite the science education Gavin had, he was really surprised at the size of the department he works in. His department has around 80 members of staff, including consultants, infection control staff, pharmacists, biomedical scientists and support staff all working together. 

Gavin's typical day

Gavin starts his day by testing samples for clostridium difficile. In the afternoon, he works on the sensitivity bench, where he prepares dilutions of different organisms to be cultured. He’ll then apply antibiotic discs so that biomedical scientists can identify the organism and the antibiotics that can treat it. At that point, they’ll return the results to the doctor who can arrange a treatment plan with the patient. 

Gavin's advice for you

Gavin’s advice if you want to become a medical technical officer is to try and secure a role in the laboratory. He says that there’s lots of valuable knowledge and experience to gain in every role, that can help you progress to the next one. 

If you want to get into a healthcare science, there’s always a way in no matter what your background is. By starting in an entry-level role and moving upGavin thinks he’s been able to get a great overview of lots of great positions that he can apply for in the future. 

We hope you enjoyed finding out about Gavin’s great role as a medical technical officerMake sure to tune in to our other episodes to find out more about different healthcare science roles in NHSScotland. If you’d like to read about NHSScotland careers, including those in healthcare science, explore our careers.