Medical Engineering Apprentice
Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
Charlie Brown is a 19-year-old Advanced Medical Engineering Apprentice from Leeds. Charlie started his A Levels but quickly realised that he wasn’t enjoying his courses and he decided that remaining in the school environment was not the right choice for him.
Charlie is currently undertaking a four year Advanced Medical Engineering Apprenticeship in partnership with Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and its training partner JTL. He learning how to maintain and service critical hospital equipment such as X-Ray machines and Linear Accelerators used for radiotherapy treatment.
During the first two years of his apprenticeship Charlie attended Kirklees College in Huddersfield on a day release basis and successfully completed a Level 3 Btec in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. Charlie has now begun a Healthcare Science foundation degree (FdSc) at the UWE in Bristol. This is a distance learning course that will take Charlie two years to complete.
Where are you from?
How did you end up doing an apprenticeship?
“I did my first year of A Levels but as the year progressed I felt it wasn’t for me. I didn’t find the content of my lessons or courses interesting and I realised I needed to look for an alternative. I was also keen to start earning some money whilst continuing my education. I applied for an apprenticeship elsewhere, but whilst doing that I heard about this opportunity with the NHS. I thought it sounded really interesting and was something a bit different, so I applied and was accepted.”
What did your job role involve?
“My role involves learning how to maintain and service medical equipment across St James’s University Hospital and The Leeds General Infirmary. The equipment that I work on is really important and varied, such as X-Ray machines, Linear Accelerators and patient connected monitoring equipment. I am also being trained to maintain and manage the clinical computing equipment that interfaces and controls many medical devices. What I do is really important because it enables the doctors and nurses to do their jobs and treat patients.”
What is your favourite thing about your apprenticeship?
“I really enjoy getting the opportunity to spend time in different hospitals. It means that no two days are the same and there’s lots of variety. I work as part of a large team and there’s always somebody to help me or to offer their advice. It is very rewarding to be part of a team that works with other healthcare staff to provide safe and effective care for patients. The apprenticeship also enables me to get where I want to be and gain skills and recognised qualifications without getting myself into debt.”
Charlie, what’s next for your career progression?
“As part of my apprenticeship I’ve been able to start a Foundation Degree in Healthcare Science. The foundation degree will take two years to complete, but within the next year I will also have built up enough experience to start applying for jobs in Medical Engineering. It’s great knowing that I’ve got the opportunity to get a Foundation degree and, with the practical hands on skills that I am learning, I will be in a good position to progress my career in Medical Engineering.”
About the Advanced Medical Engineering Apprenticeship:
During the Advanced Medical Engineering Apprenticeship, apprentices can expect to be sent on varied work placements throughout the Medical Physics and Engineering department. Apprentices are trained by experienced clinical technologists to be proficient in the use of both hand tools and machinery such as centre lathes, milling machines, pillar drills and also complex test and calibration equipment. They are also taught how to design and manufacture bespoke products for use in both servicing and clinical applications. As well as being involved in the servicing and repair of diagnostic, monitoring, computing and treatment equipment, apprentices also attend and observe clinical procedures and gain a patient’s perspective and clinical appreciation of how medical devices are used.
During the four year fixed term contract, apprentices work towards achieving NVQ Level 3 Advanced Engineering and BTEC National Certificate in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. Potential opportunities for further education are also available.