Biomedical Equipment Technician Training Programs

Biomedical equipment technicians (BMETs) install, operate and maintain medical equipment, like defibrillators, imaging equipment, dialysis units and heart-lung machines. Formal biomedical equipment technician training programs are most often found at the associate degree level, although bachelor's degree programs are also available.

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Biomedical Equipment Technician Training Info

Biomedical equipment technicians work under the direction of biomedical engineers in hospitals, clinics, laboratories and research organizations. They may also teach medical staff to operate equipment. Employers typically require at least a 2-year degree in biomedical equipment technology for all positions. Some hiring organizations require a bachelor's degree. Other organizations may consider candidates without a degree as long as they possess experience equivalent to the degree. Also, BMETs with industry certifications are typically favored.

Formal Education

Biomedical equipment training programs provide hands-on training, often through cooperating hospitals and medical equipment manufacturing companies. While associate and bachelor's degrees in biomedical electronics technology are available, some ex-military personnel may have earned informal training and relevant experience while enlisted.

Biomedical Electronics Technology Associate of Applied Science

In a 2-year degree program, biomedical electronics students gain a foundation in physics and technical mathematics and learn about digital and solid state electronics. They study alternating and direct currents, circuitry, computer systems and microprocessors and learn to maintain various pieces of medical equipment.

Biomedical Engineering Technology Bachelor of Science

Students who decide to major in biomedical engineering complete advanced classes in various types of medical equipment, including imaging, vitals monitoring and therapeutic support machinery. They also study anatomy, physiology and biomechanics.

Job Experience

Some employers may be willing to hire college-trained technicians with minimal or no experience, but most employers prefer to hire biomedical equipment technicians with 3-5 years of experience. Experience maintaining specific equipment, such as dialysis machines, may also be required. Students who have completed a college program have usually completed at least one internship experience.

Licenses and Certifications

Many employers prefer hiring technicians who possess voluntary certifications, such as the Certified Biomedical Equipment Technician credential offered by the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (www.aami.org). Other certifications, including the Certified Radiology Equipment Specialist and the Certified Laboratory Equipment Specialist, are also granted by the organization.

In order to earn these certifications, applicants must meet education and experience requirements and pass separate exams for each credential. Certification is good for three years, but certified professionals need to participate in continuing education programs to maintain certification.

Workshops and Seminars

National industry organizations often sponsor special events throughout the year, which typically last for 2-5 days. During this time, attendees can network, participate in seminars, learn about new technologies and network with medical equipment manufacturers. Colleges often sponsor seminars on a smaller scale that can last from a few hours to a full day. Additionally, organizational websites may offer virtual seminars.

Additional Professional Development

Biomedical equipment technicians can participate in a number of everyday enrichment opportunities, such as signing up for relevant e-newsletters or subscribing to printed periodicals. The Internet is home to many biomedical industry blogs and discussion forums.

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