Outside of doctors and nurses, there are many professions that help hospitals and medical facilities run smoothly. Biomedical equipment technicians are some of these essential personnel.
"Biomed tech is not a well-known profession, but it is growing," said Michael Brown, San Jacinto College professor. "The industry is in high demand and right now we have a full program of 72 students. Every year we see more students enroll."
These professionals service and repair patient monitors, hospital beds, anesthesia machines, ventilators, X-ray machines, and more.
"In the current market, there is a great shortage of technicians," Brown said. "In the next 10-15 years 2,000 technicians will be needed. Many of my students are hired while in school and nearly all graduates walk right into jobs."
The biomedical equipment technician program at San Jacinto College was started six years ago at the College's South Campus by Dr. Brenda Jones. Brown was hired to develop the curriculum and build the program from the ground up.
Students in the program work toward a two-year Associate of Applied Science degree in biomedical clinical equipment technology and can go on to work for third-party contract companies, manufacturers, and major hospital groups.
"A technician that has a reputation of doing a good job, can go far in the industry," Brown said. "Hospitals assign you an entire department like the emergency room, and you are responsible for every piece of equipment in that space. It's a pretty independent job, and each day is a challenge."
Brown, who had 25 years of experience as a biomedical equipment technician before coming to San Jacinto College, has also traveled internationally to help repair equipment in rural and underserved countries.
"I have travelled to Kenya many times to use my skills as a technician," Brown said. "Even now, there are organizations who will help send you around the world to help service the equipment desperately needed to treat people in these rural areas."
To learn more about San Jacinto College's biomedical equipment technician program, visit www.sanjac.edu/program/biomedical-clinical-equipment-technician.