Online programs in biomedical equipment technology are often provided as a hybrid option due to the extensive hands-on nature of the training. Like many hybrid healthcare programs, clinical experience may be required. Completion of a certificate program may lead to entry-level employment opportunities, or credits can be transferred towards an associate's or bachelor's degree in the field. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employers may prefer candidates who hold at least an associate's degree in this field, although a degree is not strictly required.
Biomedical Equipment Technician Certificate
An online biomedical equipment technician (BMET) certificate program provides students with training in the repair of medical equipment such as defibrillators, x-ray and ultrasonic equipment. In addition to hospital and medical equipment, students become well-versed in medical terminology and hospital procedures. Many programs admit adult applicants and high school graduates, though some programs include training for those with academic or work experience in engineering. Due to the medical nature of the profession, the training curriculum is highly science-intensive.
Information and Requirements
BMET certificate programs are typically offered in a hybrid format since they include laboratory testing and hands-on practice with medical equipment. For courses offered online, students may communicate and access assignments and video lectures through online message boards, the school's website and course-management systems. Depending on the topics and systems covered, the time to complete a certificate program ranges from one semester to two years. Some schools may require students to participate in an on-site internship to graduate.
The coursework in a BMET program deals primarily with the functions of biomedical equipment and the safety measures technicians must know. Medical terminology and anatomy courses provide basic training in the subjects and may be offered online.
Students learn about various medical applications of biomedical technology. Operating rooms, laboratories and the respiratory system are a few of the vast multitude of medical areas students learn about in regards to biomedical technology's application.
Biomedical Equipment Safety
Students learn preventive methods as well as safety procedures with the biomedical equipment in hospital settings. Attention to the maintenance of quality of life and hospital codes are discussed in this course.
In this course students learn about different imaging technologies such as ultrasonic and magnetic resonance. Instructors often help students develop essential computer skills in design an image acquisition.
The BLS anticipated employment of medical equipment repairers, including biomedical equipment technicians, to grow 6%, about as fast as the average for all occupations, between 2014 and 2024. Employees in the field earned a median annual income of $46,340 as of 2015.
Continuing Education Information
Several schools allow graduates of a certificate program to apply credit toward an associate or bachelor's degree. Earning a degree often enhances career opportunities and provides an avenue for advancement. Those with a degree and some work experience also qualify to earn professional certification, such as the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation's Biomedical Equipment Technician, Radiology Equipment Specialist or Laboratory Equipment Specialist credentials. Graduate studies also exist in biomedical engineering, training students on the development of improved medical equipment and instrumentation.
Several schools offer certificate programs in biomedical equipment technology with online coursework, but requiring hands-on training in equipment repair. These programs are designed for students who are interested in becoming certified quickly to gain a job in the field and credits earned can often be applied towards a degree in the field.