Respiratory physiologists are involved in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with lung disorders, such as asthma or emphysema. They use a variety of equipment and techniques to investigate respiratory problems.
You could be:
investigating a range of symptoms and problems, such as breathing difficulties, abnormal chest x-rays, sleep disorders or chest pains
carrying out procedures such as pulmonary function tests (checking lung size, efficiency and possible obstructions), exercise testing (to check lung function and oxygen saturation) and bronchial challenge testing (to check for asthma)
setting up and monitoring sleep disorder diagnostic testing, for patients whose breathing is obstructed when sleeping
performing special sweat tests (lontophoresis) for diagnosing cystic fibrosis
using specialised and complex equipment, such as bronchodilators and spirometers
recording, analysing and interpreting data from tests
supplying reports to the medical staff who make decisions about treatment
helping patients with long term treatment, for example administering oxygen or medication
making sure that all equipment is maintained and calibrated (set up correctly).
Clinical physiologists (respiratory) who work for the NHS who work for the NHS are on Agenda for Change pay scales. The current pay scales are from April 2023. They generally start on Band 5, £30,229 to £37,664 a year.
Senior respiratory physiologists are paid on Band 6, £37,831 to £46,100 a year. Team managers are on Band 7, £46,244 to £53,789 a year
Experienced respiratory physiologists can earn over £40,000 in private healthcare establishments.
You work in the respiratory unit of a hospital, in the outpatient clinics, wards or operating theatre.
Working hours are normally regular, but you may have to work some weekends and evenings, nights (for sleep clinics) or be on call for emergencies.
You might sometimes wear protective clothing, for instance when in an operating theatre.
You should look for a position as an NHS employed practitioner trainee in Clinical Physiology. This is available at Glasgow Caledonian University. Look out for trainee positions on NHS Scotland Recruitment.
You require 3 Highers at BBC or BCC which should include 2 from Maths, Biology, Chemistry or Physics. Employment in an NHS Clinical Physiology department is also an entry requirement for this degree.
Both trainee and qualified posts are advertised in local press and the NHS jobs websites.
You will require a satisfactory criminal record check from Disclosure Scotland to show that you are suitable for this type of work. Contact Disclosure Scotland for details on the type you would need.