What do bioengineers do on a day-by-day basis?
I'm considering going to college for bioengineering, and I am curious as to what the typical workday looks like for those in the field.
Your day to day really depends on what your interests are and what you decide to pursue. There are many different career paths you could take with a degree in bioengineering. You could go into research (though this would typically require a graduate degree), you could pursue a career at a biotech company as an engineer, work at a hospital, you could work for government agencies and so on. It's difficult to find out what you want to do when you're just starting out, so I would highly recommend doing internships while in college. Look for opportunities both at Colleges/Universities as well as at a company. If your college doesn't have research labs, there are plenty of summer programs to provide you these opportunities as well. This will give you the exposure you need to better understand your career options and to discover your interests. It will also give you an idea of what skills and knowledge are valued.
As an example, I currently work as a biomedical engineer in the medical device regulatory field. It is a desk job, meaning, I sit in front of the computer to do my day to day work, but I interact with numerous people throughout the day. I work people with various backgrounds: physicists, chemists, biologists, mathematicians, software engineers, and so on and I'm always learning something new. What's important for my current job is having a solid technical background and communication skills.
Design biomedical equipment and devices, such as artificial internal organs, replacements for body parts, and machines for diagnosing medical problems
Install, adjust, maintain, repair, or provide technical support for biomedical equipment
Evaluate the safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of biomedical equipment
Train clinicians and other personnel on the proper use of biomedical equipment
Research the engineering aspects of the biological systems of humans and animals with life scientists, chemists, and medical scientists
Prepare procedures, write technical reports, publish research papers, and make recommendations based on their research findings
Present research findings to scientists, nonscientist executives, clinicians, hospital management, engineers, other colleagues, and the public
Biomedical engineers design instruments, devices, and software used in healthcare; develop new procedures using knowledge from many technical sources; or conduct research needed to solve clinical problems. They frequently work in research and development or quality assurance.
Biomedical engineers design electrical circuits, software to run medical equipment, or computer simulations to test new drug therapies. In addition, they design and build artificial body parts, such as hip and knee joints. In some cases, they develop the materials needed to make the replacement body parts. They also design rehabilitative exercise equipment.
A few specialization that you can get with this study are:
1. Bioinstrumentation - designing and developing tools and equipment that are used to diagnose and treat diseases
2. Biomaterials - designing and developing materials that are suitable for use within the human body
3. Biomechanics - designing and developing products that aid with motion within the body (e.g. Artificial heart valves, joint replacements, etc.)
4. Cellular, Tissue, and Genetic Engineering - work on the microscopic level (Body cells, Plant Cells, DNA, etc.) to find solutions for bigger problems.
5. Clinical Engineering - find uses for medical products in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. They work alongside physicians, nurses, and other medical personnel to help them implement and operate the technologies.
6. Medical Imaging - medical imaging design and develop devices that allow healthcare professionals to see inside the human body.
7. Orthopedic Bioengineering - design and develop products that deal with the bones, muscles, joints, and ligaments.
8. Rehabilitation Engineering - design and develop prosthetics so that people can regain normal function in damaged body parts.
9. Systems Physiology - gain a comprehensive understanding of how various living organisms function.
Jobs that you can get with this are:
1. Manufacturing Engineer - developing and designing medical products
2. Quality Engineer - examine medical products after they've been manufactured to make sure that they meet certain standards and specifications. They offer suggestions for modifications when necessary and may be responsible for coming up with in-depth revisions themselves
3. Software Engineer - designing and developing computer programs that are used for various medical applications. These programs typically allow medical personnel to display and manipulate the data recorded by other medical devices.
4. Researcher - spend the bulk of their time obtaining knowledge to find solutions to medical problems. In biomedical engineering, researchers primarily seek information to aid with the proper design of medical products and to ensure that they pose no threat to users. Many researchers also teach at the university level.
5. Physician - diagnose and treat illnesses
Depending on the Specialization and job that you chose your work-day will change
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