Technical Career Field Training Program
BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING

VA Biomedical/Clinical Engineers support and advance patient care by applying engineering and managerial skills to our health care technology. In a hospital setting, the clinical engineer functions as the technology manager for medical equipment systems. Additional responsibilities in this environment include:

  • Financial or budgetary management
  • Service contract management
  • Data processing systems for managing the medical equipment
  • Coordination of service agreements and in-house operations
  • Supervision of in-house maintenance staff, depending on skill set and the structure of the department

Hospital-based clinical engineers also fill other important functions in assuring that the medical equipment is safe and effective. These functions include participation in the planning process and in the assessment of new technology, assuring regulatory compliance in the medical technology management area, investigation of incidents, and active participation in training and education of technical and medical personnel.

Program Summary

The VA Technical Career Field (TCF) Program hires graduate biomedical/clinical engineers for two-year paid training programs. The program provides the training that is necessary for the transition from college to the VA workplace, with many of the same benefits as other Federal employees.

These graduate engineers receive one-on-one training and mentoring by preceptors who are seasoned engineers at many of the more than 150 VA medical centers throughout the country. During the two-year training period, engineering trainees have the opportunity to attend national conferences and core training events, as well as network with other trainees in the program as part of a wide variety of training experiences and continuing education activities that will enhance the prospect of upward mobility in VA.

At the completion of training, trainees are converted to permanent positions in VA medical facilities. The professional experience provided in the training program, along with the vast numbers of VA 'Boomers' approaching retirement, increases the potential for rapid promotion in this career field into leadership positions within VA.

Funding

The TCF Program for Engineers provides funding for tuition and travel expenses for approved events, such as national career-related conferences and continuing education courses in the job-related field. Funding occurs on a fiscal year basis and may change from one year to the next. The amount of funding available is determined each fiscal year and is contingent upon budget approval.

Training Specifics

During the two-year training period, engineering trainees have the opportunity to attend national conferences and core training events, as well as network with other trainees in the program as part of a wide variety of training experiences and continuing education activities that will enhance the prospect of upward mobility in VA. Below are some of the training activities for TCF Biomedical Engineering trainees:

  • Essentials of Healthcare IT course
  • Medical Device Security course
  • National Center for Patient Safety (NCPS) training
  • Contracting Officer Technical Representative (COTR) course
  • Supervisory training
  • Attend industry conferences such as RSNA (Radiological Society of North America), AAMI (Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation), and/or HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society)
  • Education site visits to other VA medical centers
  • Week-long rotation through Washington, D.C. Central Office