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Medical Equipment Repairer


The plethora of medical equipment used in hospitals and other health care facilities will eventually break down with time and use. Medical equipment repairers repair traditional and technological medical equipment, such as manual or powered wheelchairs, hospital beds, suction equipment, and other medical equipment using their knowledge of equipment functions, electronics and handtools. It is their job to make sure that all medical equipment is in tiptop shape.

Medical equipment repairers install, modify, troubleshoot, maintain, test, calibrate, adjust, overhaul, and repair a wide variety of medical and laboratory equipment. They independently determine the nature of trouble and extent of repairs required and complete repairs following established trade practices and procedures. Other examples of more advanced equipment they service include radiographic diagnostic and treatment units, cardiac defibrillators, ultrasonic therapy equipment, electron microscopes, x-ray units, electrocardiograph machines, and electroencephalographs.

They maintain and troubleshoot equipment and do regular servicing in order to fix problems before they get out of hand. They may also polish and clean equipment to help keep it in working condition. In determining the nature and extent of repairs to be accomplished, they are required by check the equipment for malfunctions and plan and carry out work assignments using blueprints and schematic drawings.

Medical equipment repairers apply their practical knowledge of the principles of electronic circuits, functions of electronic tubes and transistors in order to diagnose malfunctions, repair and test electronic equipment. They are also good at math, using algebraic formulas relating to wiring and equipment. They select proper replacement parts, modification kits, and identify materials, mechanisms and components needed from a knowledge of electrical or electronic symbols, color codes, descriptions, and manufacturer's numbers.
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  Average Earnings  
Lowest 10% of Earners:
Median Salary:
Highest 10% of Earners:

  Interests and Skills  
Medical equipment repairers are analytical and innovative thinkers with excellent problem solving skills. They enjoy working with tools and mechanical devices. They have a natural affinity and aptitude for mathematics and science and can often visualize complex processes. They work well under pressure and can troubleshoot problems. They possess excellent communication skills, both written and oral, and have the ability to work well in teams and alone. They also have the ability to pay close attention to details when fixing equipment.

  Typical Tasks  
  • Make standard computations using algebraic expressions and shop formulas relating to load requirements of wiring and equipment
  • Interpret and apply blueprints, schematic drawings, wiring diagrams, liquid and air flow sheets, technical manuals, and other specifications
  • Repair medical equipment, such as manual or powered wheelchairs, hospital beds, and suction equipment using their knowledge of equipment functions and handtools
  • Test and examine malfunctioning equipment to determine the cause of malfunction
  • Disassemble and inspect equipment to locate defective components, such as motors, valves, and electrical controls, using test instruments and handtools
  • Replace defective parts and tighten and align parts which have become loose or out of adjustment using handtools
  • Clean, lubricate and polish equipment components to restore surface, using solvent, polish, rags and a grease gun
  • Perform operational tests after repairs have been completed or when new equipment is received to assure that equipment is operating within prescribed limits so that lives are not endangered
  • Occasionally install modified parts, such as respirator equipment or a footrest onto wheelchairs, according to a customer's specifications
  • Hours and working conditions for medical equipment repairers vary according to where they work and what types of equipment they service. They generally work standard 40-hour workweeks, either doing shift work, or working regular hours. In some facilities, equipment repairers are on call, in case of an emergency breakdown.

  Workplaces, Employers and Industries  
  • Medical equipment repairers are employed by hospitals, research and development laboratories, and consulting engineering companies. They can be found in all areas of the health sector, the government or teaching prospective technicians in medical equipment repair.

  Long Term Career Potential  
Medical equipment repairers can advance to supervisory or management positions within their workplace or repair and service more complex and sophisticated machines. Repairing an EEG machine takes much more knowledge and skill than fixing a manual wheelchair. They could also become medical laboratory technicians or technologists with further education.

  Educational Paths  
The road to becoming a medical equipment repairer is not etched in stone, however most attend a two- to three-year community college program in this discipline. Volunteering in a hospital or related health care facility can give you insight into whether or not you have the aptitude and interest to pursue a career in medical equipment repair field.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2002, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2002/oes_nat.htm

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