Dental Equipment Repair Training Programs and Courses
Training for a career in dental equipment repair is included in biomedical engineering technology or biomedical equipment technology programs, where students also learn how to repair other devices, such as defibrillators, x-ray machines, ophthalmic equipment and electric wheelchairs. Although courses specific to dental equipment repair may not exist, the knowledge gained from general biomedical studies can prepare students to successfully repair such equipment.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the career outlook for medical equipment repairers, including dental equipment repairers, is bright; jobs in the field were expected to increase 30% from 2012-2022, which is significantly faster than average. Individuals interested in learning how to repair medical equipment can enroll in undergraduate certificate or degree programs in biomedical equipment technology or a similar field, which are available at several community colleges, technical schools and universities. These programs commonly result in degrees such as an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) or Bachelor of Science (BS).
List of Common Courses
The following course summaries provide an overview of the curriculum of some common courses offered in biomedical equipment technology (or similar) programs.
Medical Terminology Course
The medical terminology course prepares students to effectively communicate within the healthcare industry. Studying word roots, prefixes and suffixes as they relate to medical vocabulary is the main focus of this class. Students learn how to recognize the basic structure of medical words, the definitions of these words and how to correctly use medical terminology and abbreviations.
Introduction to Biomedical Studies
During this course, students are often presented with an overview of the healthcare industry. The various job roles and duties of a biomedical equipment technician, hospital structure and organization and the interactions between the providers of different medical services are normally discussed. Safety concerns, policies, codes and procedures are typically included in the coursework as well. Students may also be introduced to biomedical instrumentation and control systems.
Biomedical Electrical Circuits Course
This course is centered on basic concepts of electrical circuits as they pertain to biomedical instrumentation. Circuit analysis, measuring and the function of test equipment take up a large portion of the training. Students explore such topics as voltage, circuit simulation, resistance, the effects of electromagnetism, components, test equipment operation and the principles of DC and AC electricity. By the end of the course, students should be competent in using test equipment correctly; designing, constructing, verifying and analyzing DC/AC circuits; and properly understand the schematics for circuits.
A+ Certification Course
Students are introduced to basic computer operating systems and hardware for A+ certification during this course. The Windows operating system, microprocessors, hard drives and system boards are among the topics typically discussed. Through the curriculum, students gain skills in troubleshooting, file management, configuring a microcomputer and performance analysis. Lab exercises are usually included to help develop these skills.
Biomedical Instruments I
This course presents students with concepts in biomedical instrumentation. The curriculum covers the chemical, physical, computational and electronic aspects of how such instrumentation functions. Students examine and work with a variety of devices and instruments to build their skills in troubleshooting techniques, medical applications and circuit analysis. The primary goal of the course is for students to be able to repair, calibrate and verify that instrumentation is up to the manufacturers' original specification standards.
Biomedical Instruments II
Students further hone their biomedical instrumentation skills and knowledge through theoretical and practical coursework. Studies are typically concentrated on advanced operation, repair and preventative maintenance. Students are introduced to applications of data acquisitions and analysis, control systems and imaging. Computer-based instrumentation as well as microprocessor-based instrumentation are generally part of the curriculum as well.
Training in biomedical engineering technology and biomedical equipment technology can typically be found in certificate, associate's degree and bachelor's degree programs. At all levels, the coursework is centered on ensuring biomedical equipment is functioning at national and local standards through preventative maintenance and safety inspections. Clinical lab work is an important aspect of the programs; hands-on training in courses such as electrical circuitry and microcomputer technology, along with biomedical externships, reinforces students' classroom and textbook studies.
Upon completion of a program, graduates should be qualified to seek various job roles. Other than dental repair technician, they might become a general medical repair technician or biomedical technician, and may find employment in hospitals, clinical laboratories and shared service organizations.
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