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Career and Education Opportunities for Medical Equipment Technicians in Vancouver, Washington

For those living in the Vancouver, Washington area, there are many career and education opportunities for medical equipment technicians. Currently, 1,570 people work as medical equipment technicians in Washington. This is expected to grow by 21% to about 1,910 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.

Medical equipment technicians earn approximately $15 per hour or $32,310 per year on average in Washington. Nationally they average about $13 hourly or $28,410 per year. Earnings for medical equipment technicians are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Medical and Dental Assistance in Washington and not quite as good as general Medical and Dental Assistance category earnings nationally. Medical equipment technicians work in a variety of jobs, including: surgical technologist, central processing and distribution technician , and sterile preparation technician.

There are eleven schools within twenty-five miles of Vancouver where you can study to be a medical equipment technician, among forty-eight schools of higher education total in the Vancouver area. The most common level of education 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 Vancouver 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

Everest College-Vancouver - Vancouver, WA

Everest College-Vancouver, 120 NE 136th Ave Ste 130, Vancouver, WA 98684-6950. Everest College-Vancouver is a small college located in Vancouver, Washington. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 444 students and an admission rate of 61%. Everest College-Vancouver has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated twenty and forty-two students respectively in 2008.

Mt Hood Community College - Gresham, OR

Mt Hood Community College, 26000 SE Stark St, Gresham, OR 97030. Mt Hood Community College is a medium sized college located in Gresham, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,251 students. Mt Hood Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated zero and eight students respectively in 2008.

Heald Colllege-LLC-Portland - Portland, OR

Heald Colllege-LLC-Portland, 6035 NE 78th Ct, Portland, OR 97218. Heald Colllege-LLC-Portland is a small school located in Portland, Oregon. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 462 students. Heald Colllege-LLC-Portland has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated two and zero students respectively in 2008.

Anthem College-Portland - Beaverton, OR

Anthem College-Portland, 4145 SW Watson Ave-Ste 300, Beaverton, OR 97005. Anthem College-Portland is a small college located in Beaverton, Oregon. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 358 students. Anthem College-Portland has a less than one year program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated 108 students in 2008.

Portland Community College - Portland, OR

Portland Community College, 12000 SW 49th Avenue, Portland, OR 97219-7132. Portland Community College is a large college located in Portland, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 26,657 students. Portland Community College has a one to two year program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated twenty-four students in 2008.

Apollo College-Portland Inc - Portland, OR

Apollo College-Portland Inc, 2004 Lloyd Center, 3rd Floor, Portland, OR 97232-1309. Apollo College-Portland Inc is a small college located in Portland, Oregon. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 1,209 students and an admission rate of 98%. Apollo College-Portland Inc has a one to two year program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated 248 students in 2008.

Clark College - Vancouver, WA

Clark College, 1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver, WA 98663-3598. Clark College is a large college located in Vancouver, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,378 students. Clark College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated four and fifteen students respectively in 2008.

Clackamas Community College - Oregon City, OR

Clackamas Community College, 19600 Molalla Ave, Oregon City, OR 97045-8980. Clackamas Community College is a medium sized college located in Oregon City, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,701 students. Clackamas Community College has a one to two year program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated fourteen students in 2008.

Everest College-Portland - Portland, OR

Everest College-Portland, 425 SW Washington, Portland, OR 97204-2296. Everest College-Portland is a small college located in Portland, Oregon. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 764 students and an admission rate of 49%. Everest College-Portland has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Allied Health and Medical Assisting Services, Other Specialties which graduated seventeen and twenty-five students respectively in 2008.

Pioneer Pacific College - Wilsonville, OR

Pioneer Pacific College, 27501 SW Parkway Ave, Wilsonville, OR 97070-9296. Pioneer Pacific College is a small college located in Wilsonville, Oregon. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,123 students. Pioneer Pacific College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated 178 and seventy-seven students respectively in 2008.

Concorde Career Institute - Portland, OR

Concorde Career Institute, 1425 NE Irving Street, Bldg 300, Portland, OR 97232. Concorde Career Institute is a small school located in Portland, Oregon. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 550 students and an admission rate of 100%. Concorde Career Institute has a one to two year program in Medical/Clinical Assistant which graduated 210 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: Vancouver, Washington

Vancouver, Washington
Vancouver, Washington photo by Matthiasb

Vancouver is located in Clark County, Washington. It has a population of over 163,186, which has grown by 13.7% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Vancouver, 98, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Vancouver are priced at $95,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred eighty new homes were built in Vancouver, down from four hundred twenty the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Vancouver are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, computer and electronic products, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 21.7% of Vancouver residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Vancouver is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Vancouver residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 27.9%, is less than both the national and state average. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Vancouver is home to the Vancouver Square and the Vancouver Plaza as well as Leverich Park and Wintler Park. Shopping malls in the area include Arbours Shopping Center, Millport Shopping Center and Vancouver Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Vancouver can choose from Comfort Suites Vancouver, Homewood Suites Portland-Vancouver and Best Western Hotel and Suites Vacouver Mall Dr for temporary stays in the area.