Biomedical engineering professionals are considered critical skills in the world especially in countries such as South Africa, UK, Australia, Canada, and many other parts of the world.
According to the US Bureau of Labour Statistics, employment of biomedical engineers and technicians is projected to grow 6 percent internationally from 2020 to 2030, in line with all occupations.
In the US, about 1,200 openings for biomedical engineering professionals are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Biomedical engineering professionals are expected to see employment growth because of increasing technologies and their applications to medical equipment and devices.
What is a Biomedical Engineering Technician?
Biomedical engineers are responsible for designing machines and devices such as hearing aids, implanted devices (such as pacemakers), health monitoring systems, diagnostic tools, surgical devices, artificial limbs and organs, and medical treatments, among others. Just about any technology that is used to diagnose or treat medical conditions was created by a biomedical engineer.
The skills of a Biomedical Engineer are in high demand because their experience combines the technical know-how of engineers with the expertise, professionalism, and capabilities that medical researchers bring to the table.
Using their background in engineering, mechanics, and biomechanics, bioengineers design medical devices such as heart monitors and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machines. These engineering professionals are experts in how medical products work with the human body.
What do Biomedical Engineering professionals do?
Biomedical engineers combine engineering principles with sciences to design and create equipment, devices, computer systems, and software.
Designing equipment like artificial internal organs, machines that can diagnose medical problems and replacements for various body parts.
Installation, adjustment, maintenance, repair and providing technical support for biomedical equipment’s.
Evaluation of the safety, effectiveness and efficiency of all the biomedical equipment.
Training of the clinicians and other personnel involved in the operation of this equipment, on the proper use of this equipment.
Working in coordination with life scientists, chemists and medical scientists to conduct research the find out the engineering aspects of the biological systems of humans and animals
Prepare procedures, technical reports, publish research papers and also make recommendations based on the conducted researches and their outcomes.
Present research outcomes to the scientists, nonscientist executives, hospital management, clinicians, engineers, and others involved.
Biomedical engineers are also involved in the designing of electrical circuits, software to run this medical equipment, or computer simulations to test the new drug therapies.
In addition to these, they also develop the materials that are required to make the replacement of certain body parts.
Are Biomedical Engineers and Biomedical Engineering Technicians the same?
A Biomedical Technician has some of the same training as an engineer, but their main responsibilities are to install, calibrate and service medical equipment. Technicians are in charge of maintenance work – keeping medical equipment functional. They deal with broken electronic and hydraulic devices and keep documentation of these activities. On the other hand, a biomedical engineer often helps to design and manufacture the equipment that is installed and serviced by the technician. In general, one can qualify as a Biomedical Technician with a national certificate or diploma. On the contrast Biomedical Engineers have more advanced training, and they typically need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree.
Where do Biomedical Engineering professionals work?
There are several employment opportunities for biomedical engineers who often work in the following places:
Medical research institutes
Universities that specialise in this field
The medical electronics industry
Research and development organizations
Some biomedical engineering professionals are self-employed if they have the necessary experience to set up a business to install, maintain and repair medical devices and equipment. A consultancy business can be another low hanging opportunity.
Interested in pursuing a career in Biomedical Engineering?
Do you have at least 5 O’ levels, Maths and English included? Look no further – Intellectus Campus Zimbabwe is a HEXCO accredited training institute offering the National Certificate and National Diploma in Biomedical Engineering. With these qualifications, you can kick start your career as a Biomedical Technician and progress to become a Biomedical Engineer in the future.
Contact us today to get more information on the National Certificate in Biomedical Engineering and the National Diploma in Biomedical Engineering. We will also be hosting an open day on Saturday, 28th January at our Bulawayo Campus – 13th Avenue, between H. Chitepo and Fort Street, Bulawayo. For more information, contact [email protected] or call on 0780509505.
l Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author based on research from reliable sources. They do not purport to reflect the opinions of any entities we are affiliated with, the engineering and medical industries or their members.