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Career and Education Opportunities for Medical Equipment Technicians in Tucson, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for medical equipment technicians. About 450 people are currently employed as medical equipment technicians in Arizona. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 26% to 560 people employed. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for medical equipment technicians are expected to grow by about 12.8%. Medical equipment technicians generally prepare, sterilize, or clean laboratory or healthcare equipment.

A person working as a medical equipment technician can expect to earn about $12 hourly or $26,560 per year on average in Arizona and about $13 hourly or $28,410 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Medical equipment technicians earn less than people working in the category of Medical and Dental Assistance generally in Arizona and less than people in the Medical and Dental Assistance category nationally. People working as medical equipment technicians can fill a number of jobs, such as: material reprocessing associate , laboratory worker, washing or cleaning laboratory apparatus, and surgical technologist.

There are twenty-one schools of higher education in the Tucson area, including four within twenty-five miles of Tucson where you can get a degree to start your career as a medical equipment technician. Given that the most common education level for medical equipment technicians is a high school diploma or GED, you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a medical equipment technician if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Medical Equipment Technician

Medical Equipment Technician video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, medical equipment technicians prepare, sterilize, or clean laboratory or healthcare equipment. They also may perform routine laboratory tasks and operate or inspect equipment.

Medical equipment technicians clean instruments to ready them for sterilization. They also report faulty apparatus to appropriate supervisors or staff. Equally important, medical equipment technicians have to record sterilizer test results. They are often called upon to operate and maintain steam autoclaves, keeping records of loads completed, items in loads, and maintenance procedures performed. They are expected to attend hospital in-service programs pertaining to areas of work specialization. Finally, medical equipment technicians examine apparatus to uncover leaks, worn or loose parts, or other indications of disrepair.

Every day, medical equipment technicians are expected to be able to evaluate problems as they arise. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they see details at a very fine level of focus.

It is important for medical equipment technicians to start apparatus and observe gauges and apparatus operation to uncover malfunctions and to insure apparatus is operating to prescribed standards. They are often called upon to maintain records of inventory and apparatus usage. They also disinfect and sterilize apparatus such as respirators and oxygen and dialysis apparatus, using sterilizers and washers. They are sometimes expected to purge wastes from apparatus by connecting apparatus to water sources and flushing water through systems. Somewhat less frequently, medical equipment technicians are also expected to organize and assemble routine and specialty surgical instrument trays and other sterilized supplies, filling special requests as needed.

Medical equipment technicians sometimes are asked to examine apparatus to uncover leaks, worn or loose parts, or other indications of disrepair. And finally, they sometimes have to record sterilizer test results.

Like many other jobs, medical equipment technicians must be thorough and dependable and believe in cooperation and coordination.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Tucson include:

  • Dental Assistant. Assist dentist, set up patient and equipment, and keep records.
  • Medical Assistant. Perform administrative and certain clinical duties under the direction of physician. Administrative duties may include scheduling appointments, maintaining medical records, billing, and coding for insurance purposes. Clinical duties may include taking and recording vital signs and medical histories, preparing patients for examination, drawing blood, and administering medications as directed by physician.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Medical Equipment Technician Training

Tucson College - Tucson, AZ

Tucson College, 7310 E 22nd St, Tucson, AZ 85710-6477. Tucson College is a small college located in Tucson, Arizona. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 427 students. Tucson College has a less than one year program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated seventy-nine students in 2008.

Pima Community College - Tucson, AZ

Pima Community College, 401 North Bonita Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85709-5000. Pima Community College is a large college located in Tucson, Arizona. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 30,529 students. Pima Community College has a less than one year program in Allied Health and Medical Assisting Services, Other Specialties which graduated fourteen students in 2008.

Pima Medical Institute - Tucson, AZ

Pima Medical Institute, 3350 East Grant Road, Suite 200, Tucson, AZ 85716. Pima Medical Institute is a small school located in Tucson, Arizona. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,017 students. Pima Medical Institute has a less than one year program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated 150 students in 2008.

IIA College - Tucson, AZ

IIA College, 5441 E. 22nd St. Ste. 125, Tucson, AZ 85711-5444. IIA College is a small college located in Tucson, Arizona. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 405 students. IIA College has a less than one year program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated eighty-one students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Flexible Endoscope Reprocessor: The CBSPD is committed to the certification of healthcare sterile processing and distribution personnel regardless of their workplace setting.

For more information, see the Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution website.

Biomedical Electronics Technician: Biomedical electronics technicians are expected to obtain knowledge of the principles of modern biomedical techniques, the proper procedure in the care, handling and maintenance of biomedical equipment and to display an attitude/behavior expected of an electronics technician who works in a hospital or healthcare environment.

For more information, see the ETA International website.

Certified Registered Central Service Technician: The Association's certification programs are the most highly recognized for quality and comprehensiveness within the healthcare industry.

For more information, see the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Tucson, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona photo by Howcheng

Tucson is situated in Pima County, Arizona. It has a population of over 541,811, which has grown by 11.3% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Tucson, 88, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Tucson are priced at $179,100 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, five hundred sixty-five new homes were built in Tucson, down from 1,131 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Tucson are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 22 minutes. More than 22.9% of Tucson residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Tucson is 9.2%, which is less than Arizona's average of 9.3%.

The percentage of Tucson residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 44.9%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

Tucson is home to the Arizona Correctional Training Facility and the Silverbell Golf Course as well as Vista del Pueblo Park and Verde Meadows Park. Shopping centers in the area include Gaslight Square Shopping Center, Grant Park Shopping Center and Grant Plaza South Shopping Center. Visitors to Tucson can choose from LA Quinta, Casa Tierra Adobe B & B Inn and Best Western Executive Inn for temporary stays in the area.