Clinical engineering clinical technologist

Clinical technologists make sure that the technology and equipment used to diagnose and treat patients in hospitals are well-maintained and monitored. They work in one of four areas:

  • medical engineering - manage the risk and life cycle of medical devices including maintaining, calibrating, and repairing complex medical devices across a wide range of clinical areas
  • radiation engineering - servicing, repairing, calibrating, and quality control of radiotherapy equipment such as x-ray treatment machines and ICT
  • rehabilitation engineering - working with, servicing, and repairing equipment such as mobility devices and prosthetics used to support patient recovery
  • renal technology - making sure dialysis equipment and specialist water treatment plants are safe and effective for use in hospitals, clinics, and in the community

Starting your career

Choosing subjects at school

If you'd like to become a clinical engineering clinical technologist, useful subjects include:

  • English
  • Maths
  • Physics
  • Science
  • Design and Technology
  • Computing Science
  • Human Biology

Work placements and volunteering

You may find it helpful to get some experience of working in healthcare by doing a work placement. There may also be opportunities to volunteer. This could help you when applying to university, college or a new job with NHSScotland.

Apprenticeships

Modern Apprenticeships

A Modern Apprenticeship could give you the skills, knowledge and work experience you need to work as a clinical technologist. Find out about the Engineering Modern Apprenticeship.

College and university

Most universities accept a wide range of qualifications, so you can apply from school or go to college first.

At college, you could do an HNC or HND to set you on the right path. These include:

Widening access

Widening participation supports adult learners who want to go to university. If you’re an adult with few or no qualifications you could get into higher education through the Scottish Wider Access Programme (SWAP). Many universities also provide access programmes to help you get the degree entry qualifications you need.

At university, you should try to complete a degree in:

  • Physics
  • Engineering

Search for college or university courses on My World of Work.

Clinical Technologist Training Scheme

The Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM) Clinical Technologist Training Scheme is delivered in the workplace.

As a trainee, you’ll have a training plan and learn how to maintain and monitor complex equipment so it can be used safely. During the 2-year programme, your practical skills will be assessed, and you’ll complete a portfolio of work to achieve the IPEM diploma.

The role

As a clinical engineering clinical technologist, you'll use your knowledge of physics or engineering to operate and monitor the safe use of hospital equipment.

Your work will help patients receive accurate diagnoses and treatment. You’ll perform tests to check and fix complex medical equipment. Once you’ve completed this, you'll also record the test results.

What you’ll do

Your main tasks include:

  • contributing to technical problem solving, so issues are quickly and efficiently fixed
  • monitoring and advising on safe working practices for other staff within the hospital environment
  • designing medical equipment
  • providing training on the safe use of specialist equipment and medical devices
  • keeping accurate records of safety checks, repairs, tests of equipment and medical devices

Top skills

Useful skills for clinical technologists include:

  • attention to detail
  • caring
  • collaboration
  • decision-making 
  • leadership
  • problem-solving
  • teamwork

You'll also be expected to have the scientific and technical skills necessary for the role.

Who you’ll work with

You could work with:

  • clinical scientists
  • engineers
  • doctors
  • nurses
  • other allied health professionals

Working environment

You could work in:

  • hospital workshops and laboratories
  • wards and clinics
  • patients' homes

Useful information

To work as a clinical engineering clinical technologist in NHSScotland, you’ll need to:

Learning and development

You must undertake continuing professional development (CPD) as a clinical engineering clinical technologist. You could also join the Register of Clinical Technologists (RCT). Your CPD should be varied and balanced. It can include:

  • applying for research grants
  • researching new devices
  • post-qualification training courses
  • receiving training on new equipment

You could become a training supervisor for the next generation of clinical technologists. You could move into academic research with an MSc or PhD in a relevant subject.

Professional bodies

When you become a qualified clinical technologist, you can join the: