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Biomedical Technician training in US Biomedical Technician schools

A biomedical technician may need to understand the intricacies of how the human body works, as well as how cutting-edge medical technology functions. In this type of career, you may have the opportunity to work with state-of-the-art medical equipment. On any given day, you might help fix a patient monitor, repair an MRI or other complicated machine, or work with lasers to ensure they are as precise and effective as possible. However, you also need to become familiarized with the human body -- inside and out -- to make sure each device has the desired effect.

What Does a Biomedical Technician Do?

For the technically minded individual that would really like a career in the medical profession, pursuing a biomedical technician may be right.

Biomedical technicians are important to the medical field because they may be ultimately responsible for ensuring that all medical equipment is safe and set up properly. This medical equipment may include:

  • Defibrillators
  • Heart monitors
  • Ventilators
  • Patient monitors
  • Electric wheelchairs
  • Ultrasound equipment
  • X-ray machines
  • CAT scanners
  • Operating tables
  • Robotic equipment
  • Dialysis machines
  • Radiation monitors

Because of the wide variety of equipment that biomedical equipment technicians must be responsible for, they may specialize within a wide range of the branches of medicine, such as:

  • Diagnostic ultrasound
  • Mammography
  • Film image processing
  • Nuclear medicine
  • Fluoroscopic
  • Radiographic X-ray
  • Computed topography
  • Medical imaging
  • Lasers
  • Positron emission tomography (PET)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Dentistry
  • Optometry
  • Anesthesia
  • Dialysis
  • Surgery
  • Respiratory
  • Computers and information technology
  • Picture archiving and communication systems

Even if a biomedical technician specializes in one branch of medicine, there may be lot of things he or she must do when it comes to the medical equipment. The most important thing is to inspect the equipment to ensure it is working correctly and safely. This may frequently be a life or death situation. For example, if a ventilator stops working while under the use of a patient, this may be very serious. A biomedical technician might have to quickly troubleshoot the equipment and repair it, ultimately saving the patient's life.

Equipment Maintenance and Other Tasks

To avoid such high-risk and stressful situations, the biomedical technician must maintain all equipment so that it is ready for use when needed. This might include changing batteries, performing function tests, and calibrating equipment on a regular basis. As these maintenance routines are performed, the biomedical equipment technician must also keep meticulous records on what is done and when.

Another task that biomedical technicians may be responsible for is installing new medical equipment. As medical technology increases, so does the creation of newer and better medical equipment. The biomedical technician may be required to stay knowledgeable about new equipment that comes into the medical facility through either reading technical manuals or attending seminars that focus on medical equipment.

The medical equipment may only be effective if medical staff set it up and use it correctly, so biomedical technicians are very important in this capacity. Biomedical technicians must really know their equipment, because educating and advising medical staff with this knowledge is a major part of the job.

In addition to dealing with medical staff, the biomedical technician may also be prepared to deal with patients. There may be many instances when the biomedical equipment technician may work on equipment that is actively being used on or by a patient. In this instance, the biomedical technician must possess the communication and interaction skills necessary to convey confidence and instill peace of mind in a patient who may be troubled if the medical equipment is not functioning correctly.

Job Opportunities

Upon graduation from a course in biomedical equipment technology, a biomedical technician may choose from a variety of work settings. The facilities where a biomedical technician may find work include: medical clinics, the military, medical equipment manufacturers or distributors, and in the biomedical or clinical engineering departments of hospitals.

While searching for work, biomedical technicians may find that the job title varies widely, depending on job location and specialty. They are also known as medical equipment repairers, biomedical electronics technicians, biomedical equipment specialists, biomedical engineering technicians, field service technicians, durable medical equipment technicians, or certified biomedical equipment technicians. 

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