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.