How to Become a Medical Equipment Repairer

Today’s advanced medical equipment requires technicians with special skills in order to ensure it continues to operate properly. A medical equipment repairer is a valuable part of any medical clinic or hospital, as they keep machines running smoothly so that patient care can continue uninterrupted.

What Medical Equipment Repairers Do
Associates Degree
Find Related CareersSOURCE: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Medical equipment repair technicians maintain and repair all sorts of equipment ranging from x-ray machines to heart monitoring equipment. They may also inspect machines on a regular basis in order to perform preventative maintenance checks and services that will help reduce the number of breakdowns. These technicians can work in a variety of settings including hospitals, medical and dental clinics, surgery centers or nursing homes.

Required Skills and Abilities

In order to be a successful medical equipment repair technician, an individual will need to possess certain skills and abilities including:

  • Being able to troubleshoot equipment
  • Having an ability to work well under strict deadlines
  • Good mathematical skills
  • Manual dexterity in order to work in very small spaces

Good decision-making skills are also important, as these technicians may sometimes need to determine which pieces of equipment will be repaired first, or whether or not a particular machine should be taken out of service due to a mechanical defect.

Medical Equipment Repairer Education and Training

Those who are interested in becoming medical equipment repair technicians can gain the necessary skills by earning an Associate’s degree in this discipline. One of these programs will discuss the use of different tools such as soldering irons that are often used in this line of work. They will also teach students how to troubleshoot and repair different types of medical equipment, which can sometimes involve the use of special software designed especially for that purpose.

Classroom instruction will provide individuals with a basic understanding of each machine’s function, along with general knowledge about electronic circuit boards and how to keep maintenance logs. Each course will also provide students with the opportunity to perform hands-on maintenance and repair functions under the supervision of an instructor who is experienced with a particular piece of equipment.

Some colleges also offer Bachelor’s degree programs in medical equipment repair. One of these programs will provide more in-depth training on different machines, and can be ideal for those who would like to supervise a group of medical repair technicians in a large patient care facility.

On-the-job Training

After being hired, new workers will need to complete several hours of on-the-job training before they are able to perform repairs on their own. This training program can last several weeks, and may primarily involve doing preventative maintenance in the beginning. As managers become more confident in their abilities, they will then be allowed to troubleshoot and repair equipment on their own. Even after working in this field for some time, technicians could find themselves needing to be retrained whenever equipment is upgraded. The manufacturers of certain medical equipment often provide this training on site.

Medical Equipment Repairer Working Conditions

Since it is imperative that medical equipment functions properly, repair technicians can sometimes be required to work unusual hours, to include overnight shifts. This is especially true for those who work in critical care units of a hospital, where they repair lifesaving surgical equipment. In some cases, employees may even have to work on equipment while it is being used. As such, they must be able to stay focused so that they do not become distracted by a patient’s condition while performing their work.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for medical repair workers is expected to increase by 31% over the next few years. Advances in technology will continue to spur demand for these highly skilled technicians.

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