“A Clinical Engineer is a professional who supports and advances patient care by applying engineering and managerial skills to healthcare technology.” –ACCE Definition, 1992
As clinical medicine has become increasingly dependent on more sophisticated technologies and the complex equipment associated with it, the clinical engineer, as the name implies, has become the bridge between modern medicine and equally modern engineering.
Clinical Engineering education is based in classical engineering, supplemented with a combination of courses in physiology, human factors, systems analysis, medical terminology, measurement, and instrumentation. It is often capped with a practicum or internship in a university hospital setting, giving the student a firm grounding in hospital operations, protocols, and ethics.
All of this background prepares the clinical engineer to fill a variety of roles in research, design, academia, and most often, in the clinical environment. In daily practice, the clinical engineer often serves as the translator walking between the worlds of the medical, engineering, and business professionals. Today, healthcare technology extends into information and communications systems and traditional medical equipment is more complex than ever. Assessing, managing, and solving problems in this hyper-tech world is the work of the clinical engineer.