What must one study to become a biomedical equipment technology professional? What does someone in this field do?

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M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Biomedical equipment technicians are health professionals whose duty is to ensure the proper functioning of medical equipment. They are also the professionals that check that all safety features regarding these equipments are in place, ensuring the safety and security of all patients. 

The field name given to these technicians is BESS, or BMETS. The BESS are biomedical equipment SPECIALISTS while the BMETS are the Biomedical Engineering Technologists. The BMETS are part of the Engineering department of a hospital as well as employees for what is known as an ISO, or independent service organizations. Sometimes they can also be employed by the military and by factories to test the products. Therefore, they are in charge of servicing all kinds of biomedical machines such as blood pressure monitors, MRI machines, heart monitors, oxygen machines, xray machines, and all imaginable machines used to diagnose and treat illnesses. Imagine the responsibility of this kind of career. You would not just install and fix; you will also calibrate, change, inspect, and sometimes even ask for the removal or destruction of faulty equipment whether the hospital wants it or not. As a result of this job, you would also have to teach those using the equipment how to do maintenance and proper use of it as welll. 

Working with extremely delicate machines, BMETs and BESS are expected to know how to problem solve, to be highly trained in the latest technology, to be fast, reliable, and always available. Sometimes these technicians are hired by the hour, or on-call. This assures a hospital who has newly-installed equipment prompt and effective service. Basically, everything that you see moving by electricity inside of a hospital, clinic, or any other health-based service is operating because of a BESS or a BMET.

The average BMET graduates from technical college or a 2 year college with an Associate's degree. A four-year degree would complete the degree and create you into an engineer, where you can not just apply but also supervise field professionals. The job can also be trained formally for in the military and, in some cases the manufacturers of biomedical machines provide on-the-job training for aspiring technicians. Regardles of which route you take, both professionals have to train using refesher courses for the latest technology. 

Certifications include

  • Certified Laboratory Equipment Specialists (CLES)
  • Certified Radiology Equipment Specialists (CRES)