An online bachelor's degree program in biomedical technology prepares students for employment as biomedical engineering technicians. Students in biomedical technology programs can expect to study human anatomy, the use of medical instruments and more. Due to the hands-on nature of the field, most of these programs combine distance learning courses with a classroom or lab component on campus; students seeking a fully online bachelor's degree program could consider options in a related field, such as a Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Science or Bachelor of Science in Electronics Engineering Technology.
Entrance into a biomedical technology program requires a strong affinity to technology and math. Additionally, students may want to look for programs that are accredited by the ABET, which is the nationally recognized organization for accreditation of engineering technology and computing programs.
Bachelor's Degree in Biomedical Technology
Graduates of online bachelor's degree programs in biomedical technology are prepared for entry-level positions as technicians who create, integrate and maintain essential healthcare equipment and devices. The curriculum usually combines engineering training with instruction in biological processes and patient care. Proficiency in math and a strong interest in technology are needed for success in these programs.
Information and Requirements
A bachelor's degree in biomedical technology is usually offered as a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering Technology. The complete degree program usually can't be completed online, so most programs are hybrids, meaning they combine online study with in-person classroom and lab work.
A bachelor's degree program in this field usually takes four years to complete on a full-time basis. Most programs are designed to meet the standards of the Technology Accreditation Commission of the ABET.
Students must have a computer with an Internet connection. Students may also need to download a software interface, such as Moodle on OnCourse, in order to access online class materials.
In an online biomedical technology degree program, students can expect to learn how to apply a variety of scientific principles to real-world applications. Some common courses include:
In this introductory class, students study how cardiovascular, pulmonary, pressure and temperature measurements are taken and recorded using medical equipment and devices. Other course topics include biomedical electronic equipment operation, the function of different hospital departments and safety regulations.
Students learn the basic applications of diagnostic x-ray devices and radiologic technology in this course. The course emphasizes the importance of image quality and processing techniques. Working with x-rays can be dangerous, so the course teaches students to protect their patients as well as themselves.
Regulations and Patient Safety
Regulations and codes applicable to medical equipment operation are covered in this class. Standards set forth by the National Fire Protection Association, Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments and other regulatory agencies are explored. Students examine case studies in order to understand the importance of regulatory compliance. The course also features discussions of how patients are kept safe from infection and disease during examination and treatment.
Applied Human Biology
Aspiring biomedical equipment technicians receive instruction in human biology, anatomy, physiology and medical terminology in this course. The curriculum prepares students to effectively communicate as a member of a healthcare team in the clinical environment.
Professionals in this field are in high demand. According to the BLS (www.bls.gov), job opportunities for medical equipment repairers are projected to grow by 6% between 2014 and 2024, job growth as fast as the average for all occupations. Most biomedical technicians are employed by professional and commercial equipment and supplies merchant wholesalers. As of May 2015, the average yearly salary for medical equipment repairers was $49,400.
Professional Certification Information
Biomedical technicians who work repairing medical equipment have several voluntary certification options depending on the type of equipment they service. A Certified Radiology Equipment Specialist (CRES), a Certified Biomedical Equipment Technician (CBET) and a Certified Laboratory Equipment Specialist (CLEB) credential are all available from the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation. These credentials require a combination of work experience and education, as well as successful completion of an exam.
Students can study biomedical technology in an online bachelor's degree program, but these programs may have some in-person requirements, such as lab work. Students enrolled in these programs study medical instrumentation, biology and patient safety in preparation to become biomedical technicians and medical equipment repairers.