In today's highly technical and rapidly changing medical field, human life depends not only on the expertise of doctors, nurses, and
technicians, but on the proper functioning of sophisticated biomedical equipment.
The people responsible for maintaining these highly
specialized machines are the biomedical equipment technicians (BMETs). Not only must they know how to maintain and repair this equipment
quickly and efficiently, but they must also understand its interaction with the patient and be able to teach its safe and proper use to others.
Medical equipment repairers, also known as biomedical equipment technicians, maintain, adjust, calibrate, and repair electronic, electromechanical,
and hydraulic equipment used in hospitals and other medical environments. They use various tools, including multimeters, specialized software, and
computers designed to communicate with specific pieces of hardware. These repairers use hand tools, soldering irons, and other electronic tools to
repair and adjust equipment. Among the tools they use is equipment designed to simulate water or air pressure. Faulty circuit boards and other
parts are normally removed and replaced. Medical equipment repairers must maintain careful, detailed logs of all maintenance and repair that they
perform on each piece of equipment.
Medical equipment repairers work on medical equipment such as defibrillators, heart monitors, medical imaging equipment (x-rays, CAT scanners,
and ultrasound equipment), voice-controlled operating tables, and electric wheelchairs. Because most equipment repairs take place within a
hospital, medical equipment repairers must be comfortable working around patients. In some cases, repairs may take place while equipment is being
used. When this is the case, the repairer must take great care to make sure that repairs do not disturb the patient.
Medical equipment and other precision instrument and equipment repairers normally work daytime hours, but are often expected to be on call.
Still, like other hospital and factory employees, some repairers work irregular hours. Medical equipment repairers must work in a patient
environment, which has the potential to expose them to diseases and other health risks, but occupational injuries are relatively uncommon.
BMETs are responsible for the maintenance, installation, calibration, and repair of biomedical equipment designed to diagnose and treat
medical conditions. This equipment may include anesthesiology machines, cardiac monitors, infusion pumps, defibrillators, radiology equipment,
and ventilators. This equipment can vary from handheld to room-sized.
Biomedical equipment technicians spend a considerable amount of time
on preventive maintenance. All biomedical equipment must undergo regularly scheduled preventive maintenance checks to ensure that everything is
in proper working condition. Detailed records of preventive maintenance checks must be completed and kept by biomedical technicians as well.
A biomedical technician should have technical aptitude for working on a variety of electronic equipment. You must also be detail-oriented,
enjoy working with your hands, and have excellent troubleshooting skills. Stamina and patience are also important characteristics of the BMET.
You must be able to see projects through to the finish.
Since biomedical equipment technicians are expected to repair equipment used by
others, they must also be able to communicate and work with them. People skills are crucial. You should be adept at listening to others as they
explain problems with the machinery. You must also be able to communicate clearly and tactfully when you are training people or correcting
operator error. A tolerance for stress is important. The biomedical equipment technician is often the person called upon to repair
equipment being used for life support. A person's life may depend on whether or not a piece of equipment is working properly.