Nicola Beh is a Biomedical Engineering technician; however, her journey has not been a traditional one.
If you asked her, she would tell you that she never thought she was cut out for university life. Nonetheless, Nicola has equipped herself with the practical knowledge she needed to fulfill technical roles in the biomedical industry. Today, she walks up and down hospital wards keeping an eye on equipment due for service and spends her time repairing damaged hospital gear.
Nicola earned her 52705WA - Advanced Diploma of Biomedical Engineering at the Engineering Institute of Technology in 2018. We offer this diploma to address the immense growth of the biomedical engineering industry, which is rapidly advancing and producing jobs across the globe.
Nicola was predisposed to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) from a young age. At school, she found that she was comfortable with physics and mathematics — other subjects completely bored her. Nicola was so dedicated to those subjects that even her English studies suffered. However, she made her way through high school and found that she had an affinity for technology.
Computer science was her specialty, but she notes that she couldn't sit still enough to be a programmer. She managed to get work in a government role in New Zealand as a trainee electronics technician. She spent time in a variety of departments picking up a host of electronics skills. However, things suddenly changed due to some government cutbacks.
“In New Zealand, the training scene was starting to change. The government was cutting costs, and training was one of the areas that cut back,” she said.
“Private industry had cut back on training as well. So, unfortunately, I never completed my training nor my New Zealand Certificate in Engineering, Electronics, and Computer Technology.
“I became somewhat nomadic and took on other roles; shop work, assembler, electronics technician, electrical switchgear fitter, machine operator, electrical apprentice, electrician, bed repair technician, renal technician, and now biomedical engineering technician.”
It was in her assembler role when she discovered her passion for biomedical technology. She started to seek employment in the biomedical field but found that many employers demanded tertiary qualifications to work in the sector.
“Before applying for the Advanced Diploma in Biomedical Engineering, I was a part-time, self-employed electrician and a contractor as a bed repair technician assistant at our local hospital. I heard about a hospital job being advertised for a renal technician to repair dialysis machines in which I successfully got the role,” said Nicola.
In her role as a renal technician, she saw the value in the practical experience that she had obtained in her several positions leading up to this one. She also realized she was way more capable of dealing with real-world situations and solving problems than she thought.
“When I followed through with an Advanced Diploma in Biomedical Engineering, it convinced future employers of my commitment to the field and that I had gained a wide field of practical knowledge and had furthered my communication skills.”
After qualifying through EIT, she finally managed to fill the role of biomedical engineering technician. She is one of a twenty member technician team that repairs hospital equipment, from simple blood pressure monitors to blood analyzers to telemetry systems.
Nicola has something she was always craving thanks to EIT: job satisfaction.
“The course has given me the confidence to self-manage my day and a heads-up on understanding how the equipment works and legislation. It has proven to me that I can do self-study in the latest research in whatever path I choose to study. I am sure I will never become bored!”