Biomedical Equipment Technician: A Day in the Life

You would never have guessed that this would be one of your more stressful days ever.

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The way the day started, you would never have guessed that this would be one of your more stressful days ever. You arrive at the community hospital that employs you and start on routine maintenance of ECG, ultrasound, and defibrillator machines, and recalibrate a laser scalpel.

You're interrupted by an emergency page to a patient room—the ventilator isn't working properly. Worse, the hospital's other ventilators are all in use. You race in to check the machine's components: Yes, it's dispensing the oxygen at the proper rate, but you discover that the depth of the "respiration" is too low. Fortunately, the problem is just that a rubber tube came loose. You fix it, and the patient begins breathing normally again.

You're relieved that your next task is to help the manufacturer's field rep install your hospital's second CT scanner. Cool—the new machine is a real improvement over the old one. But the calm doesn't last long. You get a distressed call from a temporary nurse who doesn't understand how to get the new patient monitor to retrieve the needed information. You train her, as a few other nurses look on.

You get a call from surgery that the voice-controlled surgical table won't lift the patient's legs up. Lucky again, it's simply a dead battery in the voice-control module.

Finally, you want to give yourself a reward, so rather than going back to the routine maintenance you started your day with, you tackle repairing the hospital's X-ray film processor. You tinker with it; no luck. You peruse the manual; no luck. But fortunately, there's no rush with this; X-ray film processors aren't used much in today's era of digital radiography. It can wait until tomorrow.