Clinical Physiologist Kaimātai Hinengaro Tiaki Tūroro
Clinical physiologists use technical equipment to monitor, record, measure and analyse the way patients' organs or internal systems are working, to help doctors diagnose and treat patients.
Clinical physiologists need to be registered with the Clinical Physiologists Registration Board.
Clinical physiologists may do some or all of the following:
- operate specialised equipment to monitor and record activity and functioning of the heart or other organs
- monitor patients during exercise or sleep tests to check for disease or disorders
- test and monitor patients' lung function
- perform dialysis to treat patients with kidney failure
- interpret patients' test results, and write reports to help general practitioners or physicians decide on treatment
- take part in research projects.
Useful experience for cardiac physiologists includes:
- other medical technician or hospital-based work
- experience dealing with the public
- working with technology.
Clinical physiologists need to be:
- responsible and reliable
- focused and accurate
- able to remain calm in emergencies and to work well under pressure
- able to work well as part of a team
- good communicators
- good at keeping records.
Clinical physiologists need to have:
- knowledge of the structure and function of the human body or specific organs
- knowledge of diseases that affect specific organs
- understanding of how organ monitoring equipment works
- technical skills to operate complex medical equipment.
- usually work regular business hours, but may also work overnight or weekends, or be on call
- work in hospitals and clinics.
NCEA Level 3 is required to enter tertiary training. Useful subjects include biology, physics, health, chemistry and mathematics.
Clinical physiologists may progress to more senior roles or managerial positions.
Clinical physiologists can specialise in a number of roles, including:
- Cardiac Physiologist
- Cardiac physiologists use technical equipment to monitor, record, measure and analyse the way patients' hearts are working to help doctors diagnose and treat patients with heart disease.
- Respiratory Physiologist
- Respiratory physiologists test the way patients are breathing to help treat lung disease or disorders such as asthma. They may be involved in exercise tests or sleep studies.
- Renal Physiologist (Dialysis)
- Renal physiologists help to treat patients with renal or kidney failure.
- Sleep Physiologist
- Sleep physiologists work with patients who have health issues relating to poor sleep quality. They treat conditions such as sleep apnoea.
- Neurophysiology Technologist
- Neurophysiology technologists record brain and nerve activity using specialised equipment. They may also be involved in sleep studies.
- Exercise Physiologist
- Exercise physiologists analyse patients' fitness to help them improve or maintain good health. They also help to treat other chronic health diseases, such as heart disease.
Years Of Training3-5 years of training usually required
To become a clinical physiologist you usually need to:
- complete a Bachelor of Science degree with a relevant major, or equivalent such as a sport and exercise science degree
- complete a Medical Technology Certificate or a Postgraduate Certificate in Medical Technology
- complete a relevant postgraduate qualification, such as a Postgraduate Diploma in Medical Technology.
- University of Otago website - information about the Postgraduate Certificate in Medical Technology
- University of Otago website - information about the Postgraduate Diploma in Medical Technology
- Society of Cardiopulmonary Technology website - information about the Certification of Cardiac Physiologists (CCP)
The Vulnerable Children Act 2014 means that if you have certain serious convictions, you can’t be employed in a role where you are responsible for, or work alone with, children.
also need to be registered with the Clinical Physiologists Registration Board.