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Top Medical Equipment Repair Education

A magnetic resonance imagining machine is a large and complex device which utilizes a large and powerful magnet to view the electromagnetic radiation bouncing off to a body’s internal organs. The machine is kept at a consistent operating temperature by use of cryogens, such as liquid helium. The large and powerful magnet is also a large and powerful magnet which can attract ferromagnetic objects at high speed, such as a repair’s tools or a patient’s mobile oxygen tank. Deaths have been reported as a result of such “missile-effects” cause by improperly trained technicians. When the machine breaks down, do not attempt to fix it yourself unless you are a certified biomedical equipment technician or have a degree in medical equipment repair.

Healthcare Technology

According to the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation, applicable degrees for certification often come in two forms. Interested students can either earn a associate or bachelor’s degree in medical laboratory technology or an associate or bachelor’s degree in engineering, specifically in electronic technology. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BSL.gov, 2012) reports that in some cases, usually those working with less-complicated equipment, only on-the-job training is required.

Additionally, those new to the profession traditionally start with a 3-to-6-month training period where they observe a senior worker perform the daily tasks of repairing medical machines. The bureau (BSL.gov, 2012) also reports that to repair sophisticated equipment, such as MRI machines or CAT scanners, the technician may be required to hold a bachelor’s degree.

The following seven schools have accredited by ABET, formally the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc. for biomedical engineering technology and have been listed according to student-to-faculty ratio based on data provided by the National Center for Education Statistics.

  • Cincinnati State Technical and Community College
  • Pennsylvania State University-Penn State New Kensington, Upper Burrell

In 2012, U.S. News & World Review released its rankings of the best vocational/technical schools in the United States. Vocational and technical schools typically offer skilled-based instruction in areas such as computer repair, medical equipment repair, cosmetology and more. The five best vocational/technical schools in 2012, according to U.S. News & World Review, included the following:

1.  Pennsylvania State University, University Park
2.  Ohio State University
3.  University of Georgia
4.  University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
5.  Virginia Tech University

Below is more about the medical equipment repair focus available from schools and colleges through SchoolsGalore.com

Certification from the AAMI as a Certified Biomedical Equipment Technician (CBET), Certified Radiology Equipment Specialists (CRES) and Certified Laboratory Equipment Specialist (CLEB) are only available to individuals who have earned an applicable degree and have worked in the field as a Biomedical Equipment Technician (BMET) for at least 2 years, or have a significant number of years of on-the-job training.

Certification from the AAMI as a Certified Biomedical Equipment Technician (CBET), Certified Radiology Equipment Specialists (CRES) and Certified Laboratory Equipment Specialist (CLEB) are only available to individuals who have earned an applicable degree and have worked in the field as a Biomedical Equipment Technician (BMET) for at least 2 years, or have a significant number of years of on-the-job training.

Individuals who have completed military BMET programs can count their training as a degree for the certification requirements. Certification is optional but does display that the technician possesses a high level of theoretical and practical knowledge of BMET principles.

According to the BLS (BSL.gov, 2012), many medical equipment repair technicians specialize in the unique pieces of medical equipment they are expected to repair on a regular basis and that repairers must continually update their skills and knowledge of new technology. Additionally, repairs may be expected to repair machinery that is either currently being used by patients or in close proximity to patients and, as a result, should be comfortable in a hospital environment.

The BLS (BSL.gov, 2012) also reports the national median salary for a medical equipment repairer was $44,870 per year in May 2011 and that repairers employed in the offices of physicians earned a national median salary of $56,920 per year during the same period. Employment is expected to grow by up to 31 percent from 2010 to 2020, or twice as fast as all other professions. Growth is projected as a result of the aging population of the baby boom generation and the increase in health care they will be requiring (BSL.gov, 2012).

Learn more about accredited medical equipment repair programs from schools and colleges through SchoolsGalore.com

When researching colleges and universities, make sure to verify that your choice of school is accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council or by another accrediting agency that approved by The U.S. Department of Education or The Council for Higher Education Accreditation, or both. DETC and CHEA both provide a searchable list of approved schools.

Sources and further reading:

The Council for Higher Education Accreditation
The U.S. Department of Education
The Distance Education and Training Council
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
O*NET Online
The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation
ABET

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