Clodagh, Clinical Engineer, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

Clodagh works as a clinical engineer in the Department of Clinical Physics and Bioengineering, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

She says "An interesting fact about working as a clinical engineer is that we have lots of patient contact!".

Read Clodagh's career story to find out more about her role.

How did you get started in your career as a clinical engineer?

I started my career working for the NHS as a clinical technologist 5 years ago which involved working with cancer patients. Then I applied for the Clinical Scientist Training Programme funded by NHS Education for Scotland. It involved completing a fully funded masters in science at Strathclyde University and undergoing two and a half years of further training before I qualified as a clinical scientist.

What does a clinical engineer do?

My role includes working within 2 services. The first is the Medical Devices Unit, which aims to solve clinical problems through design of medical devices.

I have been involved in several projects here, but the main one has been designing a positioning radiotherapy device. It will enable the Beatson Cancer Centre to treat a specific type of skin cancer.

Most projects involve working with a team of staff and require mechanical analysis, computer aided design, good clinical understanding of the problem and good teamworking skills.

The second department I work for is the Glasgow Centre for Ophthalmic Research. My team carries out electrodiagnostic testing on our patients’ eyes.

We apply small electrodes to the skin and on the cornea and while we show the patient a stimulus, such as a flashing light or a pattern. We then record the responses to determine if the eyes and brain are functioning normally.

I also help to coordinate ophthalmic clinical trials to try to treat the patients we diagnose. Many eye conditions have no treatment, but sometimes these trials provide sight-saving treatment which can be life changing. My job is very varied so no two days or weeks are the same.

What's the best thing about being a clinical engineer in the NHS?

The best thing about being a clinical engineer is interacting with patients and ultimately, making a difference wherever I can.

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