Real-life story - Aqab Hussain

Aqab was close to becoming a radiographer but then found out about clinical engineering. He hasn't looked back and is now making a difference to the lives of patients across Leeds. 

graduate engineer
Aqab Hussain Dental engineer
Employer or university Leeds Dental Institute
Salary range £20k-£30k

How I got into the role

I had always been interested in healthcare and whilst at college I was looking for radiography courses but there were not any places left. The university recommended an undergraduate degree in clinical engineering and my tutor thought it was a great opportunity for me.  It is part of the practitioner training programme and a great first step to a healthcare science career.

I was interviewed by the electro-biomedical (EBME) department in the Royal Blackburn Hospital along with two other students. I also had to do some practical work along with a formal interview and chat. The practical work involved wiring a plug, creating a circuit board using a circuit diagram and soldering. I undertook two separate quizzes which involved me identifying different electronic components and identifying different medical devices which are used within a hospital environment.

I was proud of myself when I was offered my place on the course but I must admit I didn’t know much about clinical engineering and wasn’t sure I had made the right decision. I now know that I did. I really enjoy the work and everyone is so helpful and friendly. It makes me feel really valued. 

What I do

I graduated from my course at the University of Bradford with a First Class Honours degree. During my time at university I had many lectures, projects and laboratory sessions. The lectures were really valuable but I learn through doing so the practical side was easier for me to grasp and understand. It helped build my confidence and knowledge. I also used these experiences in my job interview as practical examples of what I can do. 

Every day, I carry out different, challenging tasks. It involves everything from repairs, servicing, fault finding, electrical safety testing on dental chairs and hospital appliances. The aim of my role is to ensure the dental chairs are of a high working standard as well as making sure they are working effectively during clinics.

The best bits and challenges

My university course was very challenging, especially balancing placements with lectures incorporated into a three year course. This sometimes meant spending weekends and breaks at university to get my work done. However, I always maintained a positive attitude and pictured the end goal.

We work with many different professionals across the hospital, such as doctors, nurses and other healthcare scientists, and I love the fact that we all support each other. In my team, we are always willing to give others a hand when really busy or stuck on something.

Top tips for others

Patients are always your top priority so you need to be willing to help others. It is the little things that can make a big difference such as opening a door for a patient. It shows that you are caring and compassionate.  If you are not willing to help others then a career in the health service might not be for you.

You also need to be ‘be yourself’. Skills and knowledge can be learned and improved with experience but showing your true self is really important.

When attending an interview, my advice would be to carry out research on the employer and possible interview questions which could be asked. The questions which I researched I adapted to my role and had written out answers which state how I meet the organisation’s expectations.

Life outside work

I am very keen on sports cars and would like to own several cars in the future. Keeping healthy is really important me, especially in keeping a balance to my working life so I go to the gym regualrly and try to eat healthy.   

I also play snooker. As you are always thinking about your next move, it teaches me to plan ahead which I belive will help me in my future career.   

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