Recent Jefferson State Graduate Katelyn Reynolds works as a Biomedical Equipment Technician (BMET) at Children’s Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama. Reynolds repairs, maintains and performs preventative maintenance on equipment at the hospital every day.
Reynolds, from Argo, Alabama, feels she was prepared for her responsibilities at one of the Southeast’s premier hospitals not only from the instruction at Jefferson State, but also from working hands-on with the equipment in the college’s labs.
“The biomedical equipment I used to train at Jefferson State is often the same equipment I maintain at the hospital,” said Reynolds. “Some of the defibrillators and vital signs monitors I’ve worked on are the same equipment we worked with in class, which has been very helpful.”
Thanks to the hard work of everyone involved from the Governor’s Office, ADECA, ARC and key members of Jefferson State staff, the College was able to obtain the funds needed to greatly improve and enhance the Biomedical Equipment Technician Program labs and classrooms and thus the learning experience for BMET students. The ARC Grant funding was key in helping to advance Jefferson State’s BMET equipment inventory to a new level.
“We now have tools and medical equipment that most other programs like ours just don’t have,” said Jefferson State BMET Program Coordinator Eric Carwell. “The Biomedical Equipment Technology industry has a strong need for a well-trained workforce. The funds granted have definitely helped Jefferson State continue to produce highly qualified graduates who are ready to work.”
Prior to starting work as a BMET 1 in August 2019, Reynolds worked as an intern at the hospital. Carwell knew she was on a path to success.
“Katelyn’s positive attitude toward learning, her strong work ethic, and her excellent grade point average helped her acquire a paid summer internship in the Biomedical Engineering Department of Children’s Hospital,” said Carwell. “As a result of her outstanding performance, Katelyn was offered a position as a BMET 1.”
Reynolds says she learned so much at Jefferson State that has helped her as a BMET.
“During my time at Jefferson State, I learned time management and communication skills which are key skill sets needed to be a successful BMET,” said Reynolds. “I learned a lot and my instructors were kind and easy to talk to and I made some potential life-long friends.”
According to her immediate supervisor, Reynolds quickly earned the respect and trust of her teammates and is currently doing very well as a technician. She is also currently enrolled as a student at the University of Alabama Birmingham.
“I’m very proud to be a Jefferson State graduate, it has prepared me well for success,” said Reynolds. “I would like to thank Mr. Carwell for believing in me and encouraging me along the way.”
The Biomedical Equipment Technician performs a valuable function in the utilization of high technology in medical care. Due to the advance in electronics and instrumentation, computerized biomedical equipment is vital in the diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of medical problems. Such equipment is used for routine laboratory procedures, daily patient care and acquisition of information concerning patient conditions in emergency situations.
The BMET installs, calibrates, services and maintains sophisticated biomedical equipment under the supervision of a biomedical engineer. The BMET may also supervise equipment management programs, electrical safety functions, operational checkouts and preventive maintenance programs. Because of the rapidly increasing number of computers used in conjunction with medical and industrial instrumentation, the BMET must also have a thorough understanding of digital computer technology and its application.
BMETs find employment in both the medical and industrial setting, working in the construction and repair of medical devices. The employment demand for BMETs is great and projected to increase because of the need of instrument manufactures for technicians to install, maintain and repair their equipment. Service contract organizations, hospitals and clinics frequently have their own BMET staff responsible for all electronic maintenance and controls.
For more information on Jefferson State’s Biomedical Equipment Technician Program, go to www.jeffersonstate.edu/bet.