Biomedical Tech: Job Duties and Career Training Requirements
A biomedical equipment technician repairs, maintains and calibrates medical machinery. The job is highly technical and constantly evolving due to the fact that equipment technology expands rapidly. The basic educational requirement for a biomedical equipment technician is an associate's degree. Additional training and experience are gained on-the-job over time.
Job Duties of a Biomedical Tech
A biomedical technician, or biomedical equipment technician, works on a variety of equipment used in medical facilities. The technician may maintain, readjust or repair electronic or hydraulic machines used in the medical field, such as defibrillators, MRI tunnels, CT scanning devices, wheelchairs or ultrasound equipment. Computers, specialized software and hand tools are used by technicians to make the repairs.
Routine maintenance is an important part of the job, as all medical equipment is subject to calibration, repair or both. When working in a hospital setting, technicians may have to work around patients while the equipment is being used. In some cases, technicians may need to work on an on-call basis to make emergency repairs. Unless they are employed at a specific hospital, technicians may need to travel from facility to facility to do the required work.
Biomedical equipment technicians can receive training on-the-job for basic equipment, like wheelchairs or hospital beds. Those who work on highly sophisticated machinery must have at least an associate's degree in engineering or biomedical equipment technology from a community college or vocational school.
When a biomedical equipment technician begins to work, they are generally observed by experienced technicians for the first 3-6 months. Further training is sometimes provided by medical equipment manufacturers for their particular pieces of equipment.
The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) certifies equipment technicians in three areas, including the Certified Biomedical Equipment Technician (CBET), Certified Laboratory Equipment Specialist (CLES) and Certified Radiology Equipment Specialists (CRES). In order to gain certification, the AAMI requires that certain education and work experience be gained by the technician.
Certification will provide a biomedical technician with an added credential to compete in the job market. Continuing study and current knowledge is necessary for technicians, because equipment technology evolves quickly.
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