Critical care technologist CCT, intensive care unit technician
Critical care technologists (CCTs) make sure equipment used in the care of critically ill patients is safe and effective.
1. Entry requirements
- an honours degree (2:1 or above) in a subject related to the specialist area you want to work in
- to complete the 3-year NHS Healthcare Scientist Training Programme (STP)
After your degree, you'll need to find a trainee healthcare scientist job through the STP. The STP also leads to a master's degree in your chosen specialism.
You'll be employed by an NHS organisation and paid a salary while you train.
Health Careers has more information on becoming a critical care technologist.
2. Skills required
- the ability to work accurately and precisely when under pressure
- problem-solving and decision-making skills
- the ability to empathise with patients and put them at ease
- teamworking skills
3. What you'll do
Your day-to-day duties could include:
- setting up equipment, connecting it to patients and monitoring the machinery
- carrying out maintenance checks and cleaning of intensive care equipment and bedside technical support
- decontaminating machinery
- advising and training medical staff on the use of equipment
- negotiating with medical sales representatives
- routine administration tasks
- managing the on-call rotas and work of other staff
- researching, developing, assessing and introducing new treatments and technologies
The type of equipment you'll work with includes:
- blood analysers - to measure biochemical factors
- dialysis machines - to filter blood when the kidneys aren't working
- ventilators - to help patients breathe
- defibrillators and monitors - to measure vital body functions, like heart rate and brain activity
- infusion pumps and syringe drivers - to deliver drugs to patients
Starter: £25,000 (trainee)
Experienced: £26,250 to £31,250
Highly Experienced: £35,250 to £41,250
Salaries in the private sector may be higher than in the NHS.
These figures are a guide.
5. Working hours, patterns and environment
You'll usually work 37.5 hours a week. You'll work shifts and be part of an on-call rota system.
You might handle hazardous chemicals and substances, so you'll wear protective overalls, gloves, glasses and a mask.
You'll work alongside doctors, nurses and other medical staff like physiotherapists, dietitians and pharmacists. You'll have a large amount of contact with very sick patients and distressed relatives, so the work could be pressurised and emotionally challenging at times.
6. Career path and progression
With experience, you could progress to lead CCT.
You could move into a specialist field of critical care like liver and transplant work, cardiology, neurophysiology, burns, premature baby units and respiratory physiology.
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Last updated: 12 April 2017