BMET Wiki
Advertisement

A Biomedical Engineering/Equipment Technician/Technologist (BMET) is a highly skilled technologist that ensures that medical equipment is serviceable, safe, and properly configured. They are employed by hospitals, clinics, private sector, and the military. These men and women install, inspect, repair, calibrate, and modify biomedical equipment and support systems. BMETs educate and advise staff and other agencies on theory of operation, basic physiological principles, and safe clinical application of biomedical equipment maintaining the facility's patient care and medical staff equipment.

The acceptance of the biomedical equipment technician in the private sector was given a big push in 1970 when consumer advocate Ralph Nader wrote an article in which he claimed, "At least 1,200 people a year are electrocuted and many more are killed or injured in needless electrical accidents in hospitals."

These technicians perform much work in the biomedical/clinical engineering field that consists of and cover a vast array of different fields and devices.

Examples of different areas of biomedical equipment technology are: Radiographic and flouroscopic x-ray, Diagnostic ultrasound, LASERs, Mammography, Telemedicine, Film image processing, Nuclear Medicine, Gamma cameras, Positron emission tomography (PET), Medical imaging, Computed Tomography (CT), Electron microscope, Picture archiving and communication systems (PACS), Magnetic Resonance Imaging instrument (MRI scanner), Physiological monitoring, Sterilization, Dental, Optometry, Surgical, Anesthesia, Laboratory, Dialysis, Respiratory Services (ventilators) Computers, and Information Technology

BMETs work closely with Medical Materiel personnel to obtain parts, supplies, and equipment and even closer with facility management to coordinate equipment installations requiring certain facility requirements/modifications.

Regulations and Standards[]

BMETs must conform with safety regulations, and most biomedical systems must have documentation to show that they were managed, modified, tested, delivered, and used according to a planned, approved process that increases the quality and safety of diagnostics and therapeutic equipment and reduces the risk of harm to patients and staff.

In the United States, BMETs may operate under various different regulatory frameworks. Clinical devices and technologies are generally governed by:

  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA),
  • National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA 99) particularly chapter 7,
  • NFPA 70, Life Safety Code 101,
  • Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 21,
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration,
  • Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) hospital OR,
  • Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care standards;

and ensures compliance with these codes and standards for the US government registry of biomedical devices.

Other countries typically have their own mechanisms for regulation.

Biomedical equipment technology training[]

Traditionally, biomedical equipment technology has been an interdisciplinary field to specialize in after completing an Associate degree in Biomedical Equipment Technology, Biomedical Electronics Technology, or Biomedical Engineering Technology. Some BMETs get their training through the military.

Most entry-level BMETs enter into the field with a 2-year associate's degree in biomedical equipment technology, or they spend about one year in full-time military training. A 4-year graduate is an applied engineer who can perform the same medical equipment management duties as a clinical engineer, BMET Manager, or Director/Executive. Practical experience is gained through internships. Continuing education in the form of service schools is typically provided by specific medical device manufacturers.

Professional certification[]

Many BMETs pursue professional certification, such as satisfying certain education requirements and passing an examination to become a certified biomedical equipment technican (CBET). There are two other certifications BMETs can obtain such as: Certified Radiology Equipment Specialists (CRES), and Certified Laboratory Equipment Specialists (CLES). In many cases, carrying the title of "CBET" is highly encouraged, not mandatory, and is respected within the technical community.

Employment[]

In-House: BMETs work in the hospital's Biomedical or Clinical Engineering Department, but can also find employment with a third-party independent service organization (ISO) or original equipment manufacturer (OEM).

Field Service: BMETs working for an OEM or ISO are many times called Field Service Engineers (FSE). FSE are more narrowly focused and specialized technicians who support Service and Sales.

Both must face increased risk of contact with electrical, mechanical, high pressure steam, noise, blood borne diseases, LASERs, chemicals and nuclear contaminates.

Advertisement