Have you ever been in a hospital and wondered who repairs and services the medical equipment? In every hospital and medical facility there are engineers and technicians keeping the medical equipment working 24/7. They may be invisible, but they are vital to the medical staff and to the patients.
They will have different job titles depending on where they are working and who they are working for. So, they may be a:
Biomedical Engineer or Technician or BMET.
Radiotherapy Equipment Engineer.
Field Service Engineer.
The work required on the equipment
This group of engineers support patient treatment and diagnosis by installing, repairing, servicing and testing biomedical equipment. They may also be involved in training users. Preventative maintenance is part of most biomedical engineers’ remit.
It is a job which requires technical knowledge and skill as well as good people skills and an awareness of safety and patient confidentiality.
It is a vital role and therefore will be, at times, pressurised. All of the engineers and technicians working in hospitals and medical facilities develop strategies to work under pressure and in busy locations.
All the engineers and technicians form a key and vital part of the team in any hospital or health care facility. Without fully functioning medical equipment, the medical staff cannot care for patients.
Qualifying to work with medical equipment
There are many paths to a career as a Biomedical Technician or Field Service Engineer.
At a college, university or as part of an apprenticeship.
Retraining and transitioning
After working in a different industry or type of work, retraining to work with medical equipment. Transitioning from one type of engineering to medical engineering as a lot of the techniques and theories will be the same or similar.
Ex Military and service personnel
A significant number of Biomedical Engineers and Technicians come into this career as they enter civilian life. Their training is often provided or supported by the military.
Types of qualifications in order to work with medical equipment
In a hospital or medical facility, the engineers and technicians may be doing the same job but will have different ‘paper’ qualifications.
Some have degrees or other qualifications (like CBET in the USA), some have undertaken apprenticeships, others have hands on experience. This varies significantly from person to person and also depends on the specific type of equipment they are working with.
There is also a huge global difference. In some countries the apprenticeship system is extensive and mature and so a lot of medical equipment engineers take this route. In other countries the focus is more on degree study. However, most experienced engineers and technicians agree that hands on experience is vital.
Meet the people who repair and service medical equipment
The best way to understand these jobs and this type of work is to get to know the people who are already doing it.
Here are five of the many people who have shared their experience with The Field Engineer.
Alex Nii Nortey Dowuona, Biomedical Engineer and Contract Manager
Alex Nii Nortey Dowuona is a hospital Biomedical Engineering Team Manager working in Accra, Ghana for Grupo Empresarial Electromedico.
To read more about Alex go to:
Luiza Culeasca, CT Field Service Engineer
Luiza Culeașcă is a Service Engineer in the computerised tomography (CT) team at Siemens Healthineers in Romania.
To read more about Luiza go to:
Paul Neher, Supervisor of Biomedical Engineering
Paul Neher will celebrate 25 years of being a Biomed in September this year. He is the Supervisor of Biomedical Services at Parkview Health centred in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
To read more about Paul go to:
Richard Baker, UK Engineering Manager (Radiotherapy Engineers)
Richard Baker leads a team of medical engineers who specialise in supporting radiotherapy equipment. During his career, Richard has worked in hospitals and is now UK Engineering Manager for GenesisCare.
To read more about Richard go to:
Ruth Otieno, Philips Field Service Engineer
Ruth Otieno works as a Field Service Engineer for Philips and is the Technical Operations lead for Philips Women Lead Network.
To read more about Ruth go to: