Interview of a Biomedical Engineer in Field

Q: What does a biomedical equipment technician do?

A: Biomedical equipment technicians are specialists in the support, maintenance and repair of medial technology. Technicians work as a part of the health care team with a variety of medical devices that diagnose, treat and assist patients. We install, inspect, calibrate, modify, test and repair a wide range of medical equipment to meet medical standard guidelines as well as educate, train and advise medical staff on the proper use of equipment.

Q: What equipment do you work with on a daily basis?

A: Dialysis machines, physiological monitors, telemetry monitors, vital signs monitors, clinical laboratory equipment, infusion devices, electro-surgical units, defibrillators, ventilators, ultrasound equipment, X-ray machines and anesthesia machines are just some of the equipment we deal with.

Q: What do you like most about this career?

A: The fast-paced day-to-day grind of troubleshooting, analyzing and quickly assessing the needs of our customers who we support in the hospital.
Sometimes a piece of equipment will break down and you have to fix it right then and there because a patient is in a critical status. You have to learn to step back, take a deep breath, be confident with your skills, and go in there and get it done. When I walk through the door every morning, I never know what is going to happen that day. Learning to deal with stressful situations is important, not only in enjoying the job but also being able to do it.

Q: What education and training is necessary to work as a biomedical equipment technician?

A: Usually one of the following is needed: A two-year associate’s or four-year bachelor’s degree in biomedical technology, a two-year associate’s or four-year bachelor’s degree in electronics, military experience or manufacturer training certification.

Q: What advice would you have for others who want to do similar work?

A: If you are looking to become a biomedical equipment technician, you can look forward to a career that is constantly changing as medical equipment continues to evolve and advance in complex design. Those with mechanical aptitude and a thrill for troubleshooting will thrive in this field.

You’ll need a knowledge of anatomy and physiology. Ongoing and continuous education will enhance an individual’s skill sets. Education is power.

Interview conducted via e-mail by The Patriot-News staff.

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