What Does A Biomedical Equipment Technician Do?

"I’d like a career that would allow me to combine my penchant for tinkering with and repairing things with my fascination for healthcare equipment. I was told by my school counselor that I would be able to do this by being a biomedical technician. Please give me more information about this occupation. What does a biomedical technician do?"

asked by Olga H. from Dothan, Alabama

Biomedical equipment technicians (BMETs) are also known as medical equipment repairers. As the job title suggests, BMETs repair different kinds of equipment used in healthcare facilities like hospitals and doctor’s clinics. Their repair skills encompass electronic, electromechanical and hydraulic equipment which includes patient monitors, X-rays, CAT scanners, ultrasound imaging equipment, defibrillators, electric wheelchairs and operating tables that are voice-controlled. They may also fix equipment used by dentists and eye doctors. Some biomedical equipment technicians repair different kinds of equipment but others choose to specialize in only one kind or a few types of equipment.

Biomedical equipment technicians will look into the machinery and determine which parts need to be repaired or replaced. In some cases, all that they need to do to get a machine back in order is to adjust its mechanical or hydraulic parts. In others, it is the software that needs to be adjusted so that the equipment can be recalibrated.

It is for this reason that in addition to the regular tools of the repairman’s trade like screwdrivers, wrenches, soldering irons and multimeters, biomedical equipment technicians need to be familiar with computers. Most of the medical equipment used in hospitals and physician’s offices utilize software which is needed for their repair and recalibration.

Biomedical equipment technicians may also be tasked with conducting preventive maintenance to ensure that the equipment will continue to work fine. These scheduled maintenance services are a very important part of the job of medical equipment repairers because doctors use these machines and devices to diagnose patients. If the machine provides inaccurate readings and results, the health and safety of patients could be compromised. In case equipment needs to be replaced, biomedical technicians manage the replacement.

They are also tasked with explaining and showing to the healthcare staff the proper way of using and operating medical equipment. Technicians may be asked to repair faulty machines while it is still in use. In these cases, they must not only be comfortable doing their work around patients, they must also move quickly and efficiently to ensure that they do not bother or alarm patients as they go about completing the repairs.

Medical equipment and machines are complicated things. Biomedical technicians need to study them thoroughly by reviewing the technical manuals that come with them. They must also religiously attend training sessions so that they will be able to get the necessary hands-on practice they need to become intimately knowledgeable with the equipment. They also need to be updated regularly on the new developments in the medical equipment industry so that they will still be able to repair new medical devices and machines.

Career Spotlight: Biomedical Equipment Technician

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