Last updated: 22 April 2021
Clinical Engineering refers to the process of checking medical equipment to make sure it’s working properly and is safe to use. Hospitals use an increasingly wide range of medical equipment in order to deliver healthcare services. This ranges from simple devices such as nebulisers to deliver treatment for respiratory patients through to sophisticated radiotherapy linear accelerators for cancer treatments and other cutting-edge technologies.
A day in the life
All medical equipment needs to be checked to ensure it is working correctly and safe for patients and it is the role of healthcare science staff working in medical engineering to do this.
It isn’t just safety checks and maintenance, though. In medical engineering, you’d also get involved with the entire equipment lifecycle, including:
- acceptance testing of new equipment
- introducing equipment and devices into service
- advising on the correct use of equipment
- addressing patient safety issues
- safely disposing of old devices
Medical engineering is a really exciting and varied role where you’ll use your expertise in electronic or mechanical engineering to undertake these activities and perhaps become involved in modifying or constructing equipment as well.
With further training or experience or both, you may be able to develop your career further and apply for vacancies in areas such as further specialisation, management, research or teaching.
Healthcare science staff often work at the forefront of research and innovation, so that patients are continually receiving the very best healthcare. For example, in clinical engineering, healthcare science staff are developing new breast screening technology which could be safer than traditional mammogram x-rays.
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