What are the Different Types of Medical Equipment?

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  • Written By: Erin Oxendine
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 01 January 2019
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The medical professionals who work in hospitals, doctor’s offices, and other facilities depend on medical equipment to help them take care of patients and perform their job duties. There are different types, ranging from x-ray machines to heart monitor equipment. The equipment plays just as an important role in patient care as the doctor, nurse, or technician who uses it to do a procedure.

Medical equipment can be as basic as a stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, or oxygen monitor. Examination rooms are also usually filled with equipment, such as digital thermometers and nebulizer machines. Even though some of it may be small items, all are necessary for the doctor or nurse to diagnosis and treat patients. In most emergency departments, there are usually medical supplies that the nurses need, such as gloves, urine collection cups, blood sample vials, and syringes.


Hospital laboratories have medical equipment that the pathologists and laboratory assistants use to conduct research and perform tests. Some of the equipment found in a hospital lab includes hemodialysis machines used to remove waste and toxins from the blood, glass slides used to analyze specimen samples, and advanced microscopes used for diagnostic testing such as biopsies. Labs also have blood glucose testing monitors that check to see how fast the glucose leaves the blood and is useful to diabetics. If doctors suspect someone has had a heart attack, the lab also has a machine called a radionuclide scanner that takes pictures of the person’s organs, and they can analyze the images to see if the heart or surrounding organs appear abnormal.

If a doctor sends an individual to a facility for radiological films, technicians often use a computerized tomography scanner (CT scan) machine. This machine will show cysts, tumors, or foreign bodies if any exist in the person's body. CT scans can be used to check for kidney stones, gallbladder attacks, lung nodules, and vein conditions, among many others. The scanner works by rotating around the body, omitting a beam of light onto the area and produces digital images of the organs in question that the radiologist will review. The person getting the test has to remove all items including jewelry and eyeglasses prior to entering the scanner so that it will not pick up the item on the images.

Even though some of the equipment may require very little instruction, most of the digital imaging equipment and monitors for brain waves, oxygen levels, and heart monitors do require additional training. Technicians who work in the labs usually have to meet certain education and training criteria before allowed to use the equipment. It is also important that someone routinely examine and clean the medical equipment in order for it to function properly and be free of any harmful germs.


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Post 4

My mother-in-law had colon cancer and was able to stay in her home for quite awhile after her diagnosis. Before she eventually went to hospice, she used an oxygen machine to help her breathe better.

She was able to rent this machine and had nurses come in her home to make sure everything was working OK for her. This made a huge difference in how she felt. Her house was pretty small and she was able to stay attached and get around most of the house without dragging the main unit with her.

Post 3

All I have to do is look at a blood pressure cuff, and I think my blood pressure automatically rises. I know it is common for many people to have elevated readings when they go to the doctor. Just thinking about it makes me nervous and my heart beats faster.

I bought a unit I can use at home to take my own blood pressure. I am much more relaxed when I can do it this way and can keep track of where my readings are at.

They also have units like this at pharmacy departments in retail stores. I have used these before too, but still prefer to take the reading in the privacy of my home. It is nice to have these different options instead of relying only on going to the doctor to see what your blood pressure is.

Post 2

After my dad had hip replacement surgery, we went to a home medical equipment store to see what items we could rent for his recovery at home. It is sure a lot cheaper to rent these kinds of items than it is to go out and buy them. Then once you are done with them, you can take them back and you don't have them cluttering up your home.

The one item we used longer than anything else was a walker. He was in his 80's when he had this surgery done, so his recovery time was slower than some. He was bound and determined to get rid of the walker though, and eventually he was able to return it and he is doing great.

Post 1

When I go to the doctor and am waiting in the examination room I always notice all the different equipment they have in the room. I don't mind looking at the equipment, but I don't like thinking about all the medical supplies they use.

When I see packages of needles or syringes, I get kind of queasy. I hate the thought of needles, and can never look when they give me a shot or take some blood.

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