How Can I Learn to Fix Medical Equipment?

Are you fascinated by technical equipment and would like to work in the medical field? Read on to learn how you could make the difference between life and death as a medical equipment repairer, also known as a biomedical technician. Schools offering Health Care Administration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Overview of the Role of a Biomedical Technician

Biomedical technicians, also known as biomedical electronic technicians, biomedical equipment technicians and medical equipment repairers, are highly trained technical professionals who work on biomedical electronic, hydraulic and electromechanical equipment used for medical purposes. In any of these roles, you may work onsite in medical facilities or for companies, factories, repair shops and equipment rental agencies. While your usual shift may be during the daylight hours, depending on where you work, you may also have to work on call, the holidays, or at night.

When working in the hospital or at a clinical facility, you may have to go to all areas of the facility to repair equipment, including patient care areas, emergency rooms and intensive care areas. You'll often work under the stress of timeliness, sometimes in critical situations requiring you to be quick and accurate. When interacting with and educating patients and their families about the medical equipment they use, you must also be patient and relay information in a simple manner.

Important Facts About Medical Equipment Repair

Specializations Biomechanics, bioinstrumentation, clinical engineering, systems physiology, rehabilitation engineering
Online Availability Full programs are offered at the bachelor's and master's level
Continuing Education Graduate certificate training programs are available
Programs Fellowship programs are available (typically at the graduate level)

Duties

As a biomedical technician, you'll service and maintain all kinds of medical equipment to prevent equipment failure or injury to the patient. Biomedical equipment must be tested, evaluated, calibrated, inspected and repaired. You must troubleshoot hidden malfunctions and restore the equipment to the manufacturer's specifications. If there are loose pieces or broken parts involved, you must replace or solder them to restore the equipment. You'd also need to keep very detailed records of the equipment malfunction and what you did to restore it.

Education and Training

Most employers of medical equipment repairers prefer to hire those professionals who have earned some type of postsecondary training. Several community colleges, technical schools and universities offer associate's degree programs in biomedical technology or biomedical engineering technology. The core curriculum in these programs focuses heavily on electronics and electronic circuitry as well as math. Once you have graduated from one of these programs, you will likely have to undergo a 3-6 month on-the-job training period while you work under the supervision of professional medical equipment repairers.

On-the-job training programs are also available from companies, factories, repair and rental shops. Some medical facilities also help train biomedical technicians, especially for the less technologically involved equipment, such as wheelchairs and hospital beds.

When working on more sophisticated equipment, such as CAT scanners and other highly technical equipment or for supervisory and management positions, you may need a bachelor's degree. A bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering will prepare you to do research, create new equipment, instruments, prostheses, health care information systems and health care delivery systems. You will also gain a solid background in biotransport, biomechanical equipment and bioelectronic equipment.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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