A biomedical technician (BMET)--or biomed tech-- is someone who specializes in calibrating, maintaining, and repairing the medical machinery used in a healthcare facility. Working as a biomed tech is one of the great ways to get into the healthcare industry without direct patient contact. So what makes a great biomedical technician? We've researched throughout the industry and surveyed some of our customers to create this list.
- EXCEPTIONAL COMMUNICATION SKILLS
This characteristic could be said for hundreds if not thousands of professions in the world today but is equally important to a BMET. Biomedical technicians often work in a team environment requiring communication to their colleagues, supervisors, managers, and customers. A great BMET should be able to communicate (orally and in writing) how they diagnosed any issue with the medical equipment, how they determined the repair options, and how the repair was completed. Their ability to articulate this process allows their team to be able to follow up on future repairs or preventative maintenance, and their customers to know what work was done and why. This open communication line retains two major benefits: developing a stronger trusting relationship with the customer and inspiring confidence in the quality of the work performed.
Although creativity may initially seem like a characteristic better suited for a professional in the marketing industry, this characteristic is just as important to a BMET. Medical equipment repairs are often less "follow the instruction manual" and more "think outside the box". Instruction manuals can show how to disassemble and reassemble the equipment, but more often than not, it will not be able to tell you "why" any particular piece of equipment is failing or malfunctioning. This is where the creative mind comes into play.
Troubleshooting medical equipment often comes with difficult and complicated problems that require a BMET to take a step back and look for the root cause of any problem and consider multiple solutions. This is NOT an encouragement to "MacGyver" a repair with duct tape and a paperclip, but an invitation to look at a problem from several angles to find the right solution, that still aligns with safety restrictions. A great BMET brings the experience of fixing thousands of pieces of diverse equipment to each job.
- ANALYTICAL SKILLS & PRECISION
Medical equipment repair requests often come from a healthcare professional or administrator. The user can explain WHAT is not working, yet it is the job of the BMET to figure out WHY. A great biomedical technician will be able to analyze the medical equipment, troubleshoot, and provide a solution to repair it. In some cases, this also means reviewing data from previous repairs on the same piece of equipment. Without analytical skills, the data can become overwhelming and lead to errors. Especially if the data has been transferred between internal and outsourced BMET teams and parts of the data have become "lost in translation". The exceptional BMET will be able to piece all of the information together to locate the underlying issue in an equipment repair.
Precision, or in this field better known as attention to detail. BMETs service medical equipment, life-saving medical equipment! One misstep could result in serious or deadly implications for a patient. This means that they are required to adhere to strict safety regulations and restrictions while performing their work. Ensuring accuracy requires precision in every step of a BMETs service from initial troubleshooting, to the repairs made, to quality assurance checking their work. A great BMET will be sure to check and recheck their work.
BMETs spend countless hours utilizing their technological expertise to ensure the safety and functionality of medical equipment used by healthcare professionals and patients every day. Outside of troubleshooting computer errors and performing medical equipment repair services, BMETs also set up preventative maintenance programs to ensure the longevity of medical equipment. However, all of this would seem like a "Joe Blow" mechanic performing working without the proper education, training, and certifications.
BMETs are required to obtain a minimum of a two-year Associates Degree in biomedical equipment technology or related field. Individuals looking to move into this field should search for school accredited by the American Board for Engineering and Technology. Additionally, hands-on training and certifications, such as the Certified Biomedical Equipment Technician (CBET), extend the knowledge base of the technicians in the ever-changing world of technology.
There you have it, the four characteristics of a GREAT biomedical technician. Did we miss some characteristics that you think a GREAT BMET should have? We would love to hear your input in the comments.