Biomedical Engineering Essays Examples
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Biomedical Engineering and Health Services
The practice of medicine has been undergoing continuous changes over time. Biomedical engineering has contributed a lot towards prolonging of life of individuals and the improvement of general health. Engineering and technology has also contributed a lot in the revolution in the field of medicine such as emergency units. For example, one of the major causes of trauma and accidents in the world. Majority of the victims suffer from internal injuries and where actions performed on the patients within the first few minutes after arrival is critical to life. Biomedical engineering has contributed greatly to saving lives of people. Active in the field of biomedical engineering are professionals known as biomedical engineers who are responsible for medical procedures such as radiology, obstetrics, and cancer treatment. The role of biomedical engineers is best illustrated by their input in the emergency departments. More number of patients can be saved nowadays in the emergency centers than previously, thanks to biomedical engineers. This is because it is now possible to perform rapid and better diagnosis of internal injuries using advanced imaging equipment such as computed tomography (CT) scanners that can produce 3-dimensional internal images of whole body. Technologies such as ultrasound imaging are usually used to generate pictures of internal in a matter of seconds. However, other technologies like magnetic resonance imaging machines (MRI) not only reveal the images of internal injuries but also the chemistry. All these technologies have replaced the old slow techniques such as exploratory surgery and other slower and invasive methods used to locate internal injuries in patients (Saltzman 2).
Work of Biomedical Engineers
A biomedical engineer us a combination of engineering and life sciences to offer solutions in the medical field with overall goal of improving both quality and healthcare of the patients. Their area of specialization also requires them to use engineering principles applicable in other engineering disciplines such as scientific theories and engineering principles. The discipline also require a deep knowledge drawn from various fields like social sciences, math, chemistry, and physics. Biomedical engineers integrate the knowledge from these other disciplines with that of physiology and life sciences in order to study diseases processes so that they design machines, software, equipment, tools, and methods used by other medical professionals to treat various medical conditions (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
Biomedical engineers are concerned with design and construction of machines, parts and components used in the medical field such as diagnostic devices (endoscopes, glucometer, pulse oximeters, oxygen analyzers and so forth), diagnostic imaging (MRI, Ultrasound, PET, CT scan, X-Ray and so forth), treatment devices (defibrillators, pacemakers, artificial hearts, dialyzer, ventilators and so forth), testers and tools. Biomedical engineers with background in chemistry are tasked with the work of predicting patterns of drug absorption as well as metabolism. Biomolecular engineers, a branch of biomedical engineering hare responsible for design and analysis of large-scale production of drugs, and drug-delivery systems. Biomedical engineers also demonstrate and explain to the users how the machines how the machines they design and built works. Some experts in biomedical engineering focus on research and development of machines or artificial body parts while others contend with lecturing/training biomedical students. They also maintain the machines and repair them when they fail while others supervise machine installation. (Street 15; Bureau of Labor Statistics).
A total of 19,400 biomedical engineers worked in various jobs in 2012. Biomedical engineers work in collaboration with other professionals like nurses, technicians, physicians, surgeons, physical therapists and so forth. They work in places such as corporations engaged in the medical industry, government agencies, hospitals, academic institutions, and research laboratories. Training programs are often given to entry level engineers, classroom training, and/or on-the-job training. While the jobs are usually full-time, sometimes certain circumstances require that the engineers work for additional time. Medical equipment and supplies manufacturing employs the highest number (28%) followed by scientific research and development services (18%) and Pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing at 15% (McDavid and Echaore-McDavid 138; Bureau of Labor Statistics).
Biomedical engineers who offer their engineering services to the public or those tasked with responsibilities that affect public property, life, or health must be licensed as a professional engineer (McDavid and Echaore-McDavid 140).
Experience, special skills, and personality traits
Graduates entering the field are expected to possess relevant experience, certain skills, as well as exhibit certain personality traits. For example, those seeking entry level positions ought to have experience in areas they intend to work in. usually experience is gained through student-based research projects, employment, work-study programs, post-doctoral training, and internships. Special skills required include strong analytical, presentation, problem-solving, communication, and writing skills. Since they work with other professionals like nurses, medical doctors, fellow colleagues, managers, technicians and other professionals, they are also expected to possess effective teamwork, leadership, and interpersonal skills. A successful biomedical engineer is also someone who is open-minded, curios, creative, detailed-oriented, and determined (McDavid and Echaore-McDavid 140).
How to Become a Biomedical Engineer
The amount of pay or salary a biomedical engineer earns depends on a number of factors such as responsibilities of the job, experience geographical location, employer, and educational qualifications. In May 2012, the median wage for a biomedical engineer was $86,960 with the lowest 10% and the top 10% earning not less than $52,600 and not more than $139, 450 respectively. Median annual pay for the top three industries was: Scientific research and development services ($94,150), Medical equipment and supplies manufacturing ($88,850), and Pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing paid 87,340 (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
Job market for biomedical engineers has been described as favorable. Aging population and increasing interest in personal health and healthcare in the US was expected to result in a 27% annual increment of employment opportunities up to the year 2022. This is the fastest in all occupations. But being a small occupation, the 10-year projection might only result in approximately 5,200 jobs. Entry level positions vary for different levels but usually it requires a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering, biomedical engineering, or another related field as a minimum. However, some positions require advanced degree such as master’s or doctorate degree. Every year, thousands of biomedical engineers are employed. In 2004, 10,050 were employed in the US. Some worked in manufacturing industries like pharmaceuticals and medicine, electronic instruments, and medical equipment. Some were absorbed in the general surgical and medical hospitals while others went to scientific research. (McDavid and Echaore-McDavid 139).
Advancement Prospects for a Biomedical Engineer
Individual opportunities, interests and ambitions is a great factor that determines career advancement of biomedical engineers. Besides being technical specialists, they can also pursue other positions that are managerial in nature including project, supervisory, and chief engineer. Some might choose to pursue business related opportunities such as technical sales and marketing or even join medical schools and pursue medicine while others might choose to become independent consultants, vendors, or service providers in the biomedical engineering industry (McDavid and Echaore-McDavid 140).
Similar Occupations and More Information
More Information about Biomedical Engineering
More information regarding biomedical engineering can be obtained from American Society for Engineering Education, and Technology Student Association (general engineering education and career resources), ABET (accredited programs), Biomedical Engineering Society (careers in biomedical engineering), Biomedical Engineering Society, and IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (careers in biomedical engineering) (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
Bureau of Labor Statistics. Architecture and Engineering: Biomedical Engineers. US of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 8 January 2014. Web. 10 April 2015
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). Is Biomedical Engineering Right For Me? Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, 2015. Web, 10 April 2015.
McDavid, Richard & Echaore-McDavid Susan. Career Opportunities in Engineering. New York: Ferguson, 2007. Print.
Saltzman, Mark. Biomedical Engineering: Bridging Medicine and Technology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009. Print.
Street, Laurence. Introduction to Biomedical Engineering Technology. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2008. Print.
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