Stephen, Rehabilitation Engineer

I knew from an early age that I wanted to work in engineering or healthcare which led me to taking science and maths A-levels.

I knew I wanted to go to university so looked for a degree that combined both my interests. I couldn’t believe it when I found a BSc in Rehabilitation Engineering. It was perfect! I spent four years training which included work placements across the country. In my final year, I went to Chailey Clinical Services, I loved it and is where I am working today.

Every day is a new and exciting challenge. My role involves seeing whether a young person needs specialised equipment. If they do, it is up to me to make sure they are given it and advised on how to use it.  Sometimes equipment needs to be adapted to meet individual needs and in some cases it needs to be created from scratch. This is when the very special service we offer is particularly helpful. We are able to manufacture and adapt medical devices to meet these needs.

For example, we may adapt standing supports that gives young people increased comfort and safety when enjoying activities. We may also customise headrests that helps to improve visual range leading to better social interactions. It is fantastic to see the difference this can make.

The best part of the job is the difference we make to young people. You can get a real sense of achievement handing over a piece of equipment and seeing what it means to them.

As with any job, there are challenges. Progress can be slow and stressful for some children, but the small changes we make results in them being more independent, comfortable and happy. Something that many of us take for granted.

I have an Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM) Diploma in Clinical Technology. My employer supported me with this which was really helpful. This has helped me to recently get a promotion. The career progression in the NHS is one of the really fantastic benefits.

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