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Career and Education Opportunities for Medical Equipment Technicians in Brownsville, Texas

If you want to be a medical equipment technician, the Brownsville, Texas area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. Currently, 2,530 people work as medical equipment technicians in Texas. This is expected to grow 28% to 3,230 people by 2016. This is better than the national trend for medical equipment technicians, which sees this job pool growing by about 12.8% over the next eight years. In general, medical equipment technicians prepare, sterilize, or clean laboratory or healthcare equipment.

Income for medical equipment technicians is about $12 hourly or $26,570 per year on average in Texas. Nationally, their income is about $13 hourly or $28,410 annually. Medical equipment technicians earn less than people working in the category of Medical and Dental Assistance generally in Texas and less than people in the Medical and Dental Assistance category nationally. Medical equipment technicians work in a variety of jobs, including: sanitary aide, instrument technician, and sterile preparation technician.

There are ten schools of higher education in the Brownsville area, including four within twenty-five miles of Brownsville 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 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 Brownsville 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

Southern Careers Institute Inc-South Texas - Pharr, TX

Southern Careers Institute Inc-South Texas, 1414 N. Jackson Rd, Pharr, TX 78577. Southern Careers Institute Inc-South Texas is a small school located in Pharr, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 251 students and an admission rate of 91%. Southern Careers Institute Inc-South Texas has a one to two year program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated 112 students in 2008.

Valley Grande Institute for Academic Studies - Weslaco, TX

Valley Grande Institute for Academic Studies, 345 S. Texas Blvd., Weslaco, TX 78596. Valley Grande Institute for Academic Studies is a small school located in Weslaco, Texas. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 397 students. Valley Grande Institute for Academic Studies has a less than one year program in Allied Health and Medical Assisting Services, Other Specialties which graduated forty-four students in 2008.

Career Centers of Texas-Brownsville - Brownsville, TX

Career Centers of Texas-Brownsville, 1900 North Expressway, Brownsville, TX 78521. Career Centers of Texas-Brownsville is a small school located in Brownsville, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 704 students. Career Centers of Texas-Brownsville has a less than one year program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated 250 students in 2008.

Texas State Technical College Harlingen - Harlingen, TX

Texas State Technical College Harlingen, 1902 North Loop 499, Harlingen, TX 78550-3697. Texas State Technical College Harlingen is a medium sized college located in Harlingen, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,477 students. Texas State Technical College Harlingen has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated ten and nine 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: Brownsville, Texas

Brownsville, Texas
Brownsville, Texas photo by Jaedza

Brownsville is situated in Cameron County, Texas. It has a population of over 175,494, which has grown by 25.6% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Brownsville, 78, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Brownsville cost $102,100 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, four hundred sixty-four new homes were constructed in Brownsville, down from eight hundred sixty-one the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Brownsville are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, educational services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 13.4% of Brownsville residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 5.1%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Brownsville is 10.8%, which is greater than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Brownsville residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 52.8%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. El Calvario Lutheran Church, Primera Iglesia Presbiteriana Mexicana Church and Church of Christ are some of the churches located in Brownsville. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Brownsville is home to the Resaca de la Palma Battlefield and the Miguel Fernandez Hide Yard as well as Friendship Gardens and Washington Park. Visitors to Brownsville can choose from Best Western Rose Garden Inn, Comfort Inn and Best Value Colonial Hotel for temporary stays in the area.