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Career and Education Opportunities for Medical Equipment Technicians in Des Moines, Iowa

Des Moines, Iowa provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for medical equipment technicians. Currently, 470 people work as medical equipment technicians in Iowa. This is expected to grow 11% to 520 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for medical equipment technicians are expected to grow by about 12.8%. In general, medical equipment technicians prepare, sterilize, or clean laboratory or healthcare equipment.

A person working as a medical equipment technician can expect to earn about $14 hourly or $29,660 annually on average in Iowa and about $13 per hour or $28,410 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for medical equipment technicians are better than earnings in the general category of Medical and Dental Assistance in Iowa and not quite as good as general Medical and Dental Assistance category earnings nationally. Medical equipment technicians work in a variety of jobs, including: health equipment servicer, sterilization technician, and inhalation therapy aide.

There are three schools within twenty-five miles of Des Moines where you can study to be a medical equipment technician, among fifteen schools of higher education total in the Des Moines area. 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 training to become 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 Des Moines 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

Kaplan University-Des Moines Campus - Urbandale, IA

Kaplan University-Des Moines Campus, 4655 121st Street, Urbandale, IA 50323. Kaplan University-Des Moines Campus is a small university located in Urbandale, Iowa. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 864 students. Kaplan University-Des Moines Campus has an associate's degree program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated sixty-seven students in 2008.

Mercy College of Health Sciences - Des Moines, IA

Mercy College of Health Sciences, 928 Sixth Ave, Des Moines, IA 50309-1239. Mercy College of Health Sciences is a small college located in Des Moines, Iowa. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 676 students and an admission rate of 72%. Mercy College of Health Sciences has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated six and zero students respectively in 2008.

Vatterott College - Des Moines, IA

Vatterott College, 7000 Fleur Drive, Des Moines, IA 50321. Vatterott College is a small college located in Des Moines, Iowa. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 239 students and an admission rate of 75%. Vatterott College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated thirty-one and eleven students respectively 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: Des Moines, Iowa

Des Moines, Iowa
Des Moines, Iowa photo by BinaryBoyXP

Des Moines is located in Polk County, Iowa. It has a population of over 197,052, which has shrunk by 0.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Des Moines, 79, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Des Moines cost $175,000 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, one hundred sixty-five new homes were built in Des Moines, down from three hundred nine the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Des Moines are finance and insurance, health care, and educational services. For men, it is construction, finance and insurance, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 18 minutes. More than 21.8% of Des Moines residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.5%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Des Moines is 7.1%, which is greater than Iowa's average of 6.1%.

The percentage of Des Moines residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 48.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Epworth United Methodist Church, Union Park Baptist Church and Seventh Day Adventist Church are all churches located in Des Moines. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church.

Des Moines is home to the Activities Center and the Blank Park Zoo as well as M L King Park and Des Moines Botanical Garden. Shopping centers in the area include Merle Hay Mall, Des Moines Park Fair Mall and Southridge Mall. Visitors to Des Moines can choose from Palace Inn, Holiday Inn Express Des Moines and Casa Bella Motel for temporary stays in the area.