Medical technicians can work with a variety of medical equipment. Everything from sterilizers to EKG machines can be in their repertoire of daily duties. The equipment they use the most will depend on the duties they are assigned. These duties are decided by the career path in which the med tech specializes. A dental assistant will have different responsibilities than a surgery or cardiovascular technician.
There are internal and external defibrillators. Implantable cardioverter defibrillators are installed by doctors to help with arrhythmia. External defibrillators can be automated, and they require no real training to use. Non-automated models still require training so a med tech knows how to use them properly. These devices shock the heart with a pulse of electricity. As of the 1980s, the medical profession now uses biphasic waveforms that alternate the direction of the pulses. This lowers the amount of voltage needed to get the heart pumping correctly again, as well as limits the risk of burns or internal damage.
EKG, or ECG, is short for electrocardiogram. The EKG records electrical impulses in the heart. The heart has its own electrical system that regulates the rate and rhythm of the heartbeat. Each beat causes an electrical signal to move from the top of the heart to the bottom. As the electrical signal passes through the heart, it causes the heart to contract, and the contraction causes the blood to flow through the rest of the body. A med tech using one of these devices can pass the information of the patient's heart to a doctor who can determine if there is an issue. Most common issues are heart murmurs, arrhythmia, myocardial infarction and seizures.
Sterilizers are going to be used by med techs no matter what field they enter. A med tech will have to learn the specific protocols outlined at the hospital, dental office or medical facility where they work. Some of these protocols will be standard rules that the particular place of employment would like them to follow, while others may be mandated by federal law. Some specific med tech positions specialize in sterilization procedures. Surgery techs are responsible for sterilizing all tools and equipment in an operating room, but it can extend to air sampling and contact precautions as well.
A wide variety of devices, machines and other medical equipment is used by the med tech. Med techs have closets full of supplies, new machines coming out frequently, and new software applications to run all the new equipment. This is one of the reasons med techs specialize in a specific field; otherwise, they would be permanent students trying to learn all the new innovations in medical science.
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