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Clinical / Medical Technologist

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Most of these occupations require qualifications at NFQ Levels 7 or 8 (Ordinary / Honours Degrees) but some do not.

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At a Glance... header image

Clinical / Medical Technologists working in medical physics or clinical engineering are responsible for maintaining and servicing complex, specialised equipment used to diagnose and treat patients


The Work header image

Hospitals use an increasingly wide range of cutting edge technology in various areas, such as radiotherapy, bioengineering and laser procedures. There is an increasing demand for people with the correct medical physics knowledge to service, check the performance of, and gauge any environmental effects of this equipment. Clinical or medical technologists in this field will often liaise with scientists and doctors, and have direct contact with patients.

Many specialise in one of two areas:

  • nuclear medicine - where technologists are responsible for preparing and purifying radioactive materials, calculating doses and safe disposal whilst measuring and testing equipment safety levels
  • medical engineering - usually a position for those with expertise in electronic or mechanical engineering. Their work involves calibration, servicing and maintenance of specialised clinical equipment and may sometime include construction of equipment.

Medical staff rely on the skills of medical technologists and there is a requirement for great attention to detail, this however, should be coupled with the ability to reassure patients who may be uncomfortable with such complex machinery.

Some of the specific roles as a medical technologist are:

Critical care technologists - provide operational and technical support to general and specialist intensive care or high dependency units, especially with equipment to maintain circulation, respiration and renal support function, often operating as part of a multidisciplinary clinical team.

Medical physics technologists - assist clinical and scientific staff in the construction of medical devices; this can involve mechanical, electronic and computing design procedures. They may also carry out calibration and quality assurance tests of x-ray and other electro-medical equipment.

Nuclear medicine technologists - use radioactive pharmaceuticals in diagnosis and therapy. They administer radioactive agents, and image their distribution using gamma cameras. They also perform laboratory tests and administer routine therapeutic doses of radioactive iodine. They monitor the safe handling of radioactive materials.

Radiotherapy technologists - perform quality control on radiotherapy dosimetry equipment and treatment units, such as linear accelerators and brachytherapy equipment, and compute radiation treatment plans. They may also maintain and service radiation therapy equipment and construct patient fixation devices.

Vascular technologists - perform and interpret non-invasive diagnostic studies on patients with arterial and venous disease. These include ultrasound imaging and blood-flow waveform analysis, and blood pressure measurement at rest and after exercise. They also carry out vascular measurement during surgery.

Technologists in equipment management - maintain and service electro-medical equipment, ensuring both performance and safety. While the more sophisticated equipment is installed in acute hospitals, these technologists also support equipment in primary care.

Rehabilitation engineers - work with the rehabilitation team to provide bio-mechanical assessment, monitoring of patient recovery and the custom manufacture of aids such as wheelchairs and speech synthesisers for individual patients.

Renal dialysis technicians - are responsible for the safe and efficient working of renal dialysis equipment (haemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, and water treatment) both in hospital and at the patients home. The training for these positions are ''on the job'' and generally an electronic background is preferred.

 


Personal Qualitiesheader image

The work requires knowledge of physics and engineering (both mechanical and electronic) and a responsible, very careful approach. The ability to maintain a high standard of accuracy under pressure is vital.  
 
As an MPT, you will need good communication skills, as you will work closely with other health care professionals. In some specialisms, you could work with patients as well.


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Organisation: Irish Medical Organisation
  Address: 10 Fitzwilliam Place, Dublin 2
  Tel: (01) 676 7273
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

 

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