Biomedical Equipment Technician

Recognized Skill Standards
May 15, 2012

Background

These skill standards were developed as part of a Type 2 Curriculum Development Project under the auspices of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, in which education applicants develop and achieve recognition for skill standards and meet the requirements for program recognition in order to qualify for an award of $20,000 from federal Perkins Leadership funds.

Biomedical equipment technicians usually work in hospitals, medical centers, and large clinics that have high-technology equipment and instruments. They may also work for biomedical equipment manufacturers in engineering, sales, or service. These technicians are usually supervised by Biomedical or Clinical Engineers.

The rapid expansion of an aging population is expected to generate strong demand for medical equipment and create excellent opportunities for employment in this field. As medical equipment becomes increasingly complex, the need for highly trained technicians will steadily increase for large hospitals and medical centers.

Texas Workforce Commission data projects statewide employment of biomedical equipment technicians to increase by approximately 34 percent between 2008 and 2018.  The average hourly wage in Texas for this occupation is reported to be $19.71.

Project Goals

The project goals were:

  • Identify voluntary skill standards for the biomedical equipment technician occupational area to serve as benchmark for entry into this occupational area and to serve as guides for curriculum development of community and technical college programs of study that will effectively meet the needs of both the newly graduated entry-level worker and the seasoned professional returning to education to upgrade his or her workplace skills.
  • Publish and promote the results and support the use of skill standards by educators, businesses, unions, students, workers, and government agencies.

Development and Validation Methods

A job analysis for the Biomedical Equipment Technician occupation was conducted in November 2010, which resulted in the creation of a DACUM chart of duties, tasks, skills, and tools.  The skill standards developed in this project used the resulting DACUM as the job analysis method, as suggested in the Guidelines for the Development, Recognition, and Usage of Skill Standards (Guidelines).

Duties and tasks were transcribed from the DACUM as Critical Work Functions (CWFs) and Key Activities (KAs) respectively. A group of subject matter experts (SMEs), all of whom participated in the original DACUM development session validated that the DACUM elements were transcribed accurately and, where it was necessary, aggregated appropriately into CWFs and KAs. During the session, a discussion was facilitated between the SMEs to develop and define consensus-based performance criteria for each of the KAs.

Following the development session, SMEs were asked to respond to surveys in order to define consensus-based knowledge, skills, and conditions (tools) for each of the Key Activities (KAs). Those knowledge, skills, and conditions that 50% or greater of the respondents indicated as necessary to each KA were included in the skill standards.

An additional survey asked SME respondents to rate the complexity of each of seventeen academic and employability knowledge and skill areas. Respondents rated complexity on a scale of 1 to 5 (with 1 indicating low complexity, and 5 indicating high complexity) and the average of the responses was used to indicate the complexity level the CWF required of each knowledge or skill area. Where the average indicated a fraction, the survey criteria indicated that the nearest whole number would be used.

Finally, SMEs reviewed hard copy compilation of the skill standards elements defined in the teleconference (Critical Work Functions, Key Activities, Performance Criteria) and resulting from the surveys (Knowledge, Skills, and Conditions; and Academic and Employability Knowledge and Skills ratings.) They were asked to verify that all elements were captured and documented as discussed in the teleconference, to review and comment on proposed statements of assessment, and to indicate their validation by signing-off on the document.

The Biomedical Equipment Technician skill standards contain seven critical work functions in the areas of installing, maintaining, and repairing installed biomedical equipment; managing documentation; managing third-party resources; safety; and providing technical assistance to users of the equipment.