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How Do I Become a Hyperbaric Technician?

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  • Written By: N. Kalu
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Image By: Steve Simpson
  • Last Modified Date: 10 December 2014
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If you want to become a hyperbaric technician you must be familiar with the rules and regulations surrounding hyperbaric medical technology, which includes oxygen therapy systems. There are very specific educational requirements associated with this position. Experience in the medical field, particularly nursing and respiratory therapy experience, is also necessary before seeking to become a hyperbaric technician.

As a hyperbaric technician, you will be expected to operate and perform maintenance on the hyperbaric chamber in which patients with significant wounds are kept. Such duties require specific knowledge that you can only learn through formal education. To become a hyperbaric technician, you first need a high school degree. Next, you will need a degree in some medical discipline, such as nursing or medical technology. This requirement is due to the fact that hyperbaric medical training is only offered as an additional course of study for established medical professionals.

Degrees in nursing or most fields of medical technology are offered through community colleges or larger universities. These courses of study will immerse you in the medical field, its terminology and techniques, and prepare you for future hyperbaric medical training. Furthermore, a background in medicine will provide you with the practical experience of interacting with patients during stressful and sometimes life threatening situations.

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After you have obtained a degree in a medical discipline and gained two to five years of experience in the field, you will have to go through an accredited and specialized certification program in order to become a hyperbaric technician. During this training program, you will learn about the history of using oxygen as medical therapy, the advantages and disadvantages of such a treatment, the legal implications of this therapy and how to safely operate hyperbaric therapy equipment.

In the United States, there are 19 hyperbaric training facilities approved by National Board of Diving and Hyperbaric Medical Technology. Most countries have their own hyperbaric medical technology governing organization. Research these organizations and select the program that best fits your needs and your schedule. Typically, a student can progress through the hyperbaric training course fairly quickly and finish in one year or less.

After your studies, you will need to take the certification exam. The exam is comprehensive and will test all aspects of hyperbaric medical training, from chamber emergency procedures to the details of therapeutic gas systems. Once you have passed the exam, you will be a certified technician able to practice in hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

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