How to Be Life Support Systems Technician - Job Description, Skills, and Interview Questions

The job of a Life Support Systems Technician is to install, maintain, and repair life support systems such as air conditioning, ventilation, and heating systems. These technicians ensure that the necessary environment is created for people to live and work in a safe and comfortable environment. The need for these technicians is increasing due to the rising global temperatures and more efficient building insulation.

With this increased demand, those trained in life support systems can expect a steady amount of work, making it a viable career choice. Not only do they provide a vital service that helps people stay comfortable but they also help reduce energy costs by ensuring that the systems are running efficiently. This in turn helps to reduce environmental impact as energy conservation is one of the best ways to combat climate change.

Steps How to Become

  1. Complete a High School Diploma or Equivalent. Most employers require that applicants have at least a high school diploma or its equivalent, such as a GED.
  2. Pursue a Postsecondary Certificate or Degree. Employers may require applicants to have a postsecondary certificate or degree in life support systems technology. These programs typically cover topics such as medical terminology, human anatomy, medical equipment, and safety protocols.
  3. Obtain On-the-Job Training. Employers may provide on-the-job training for life support systems technicians, which can take several months to complete. During this time, technicians learn about the equipment and how to troubleshoot and repair it.
  4. Consider Certification. Individuals may consider becoming certified through national organizations such as the National Institute for Life Support Systems (NILSS). Certification may help individuals stand out from other applicants and demonstrate their knowledge of the field.
  5. Advance in the Field. With experience and additional education, life support systems technicians can advance in their careers and become supervisors or managers. They may also choose to specialize in certain types of medical equipment such as respiratory or dialysis machines.

It is essential for Life Support Systems Technicians to stay up-to-date with the latest industry advancements and certifications to ensure their skills remain relevant and in-demand. As the healthcare industry continues to evolve, staying knowledgeable about new medical technologies and procedures is essential. To remain qualified, technicians must take continuing education courses, attend seminars and conferences, and keep abreast of current trends in the field.

Knowing the latest developments can also help technicians better serve their clients and be more successful in their career. maintaining licensing and certifications is important for technicians to stay informed and be recognized for their professional qualifications. Keeping a valid license also allows technicians to continue to provide the highest quality care for their patients.

By staying updated and qualified, Life Support Systems Technicians can ensure they remain an important part of the healthcare industry.

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Job Description

  1. Monitor and maintain life support systems, such as ventilators, dialysis machines, and other patient monitoring devices.
  2. Perform routine maintenance on equipment and address any malfunctioning systems.
  3. Monitor vital signs and patient progress.
  4. Document patient care activities, including daily reports and charting.
  5. Administer medications as prescribed by a physician or healthcare provider.
  6. Educate patients on the use of life support systems and provide support for their medical needs.
  7. Provide technical assistance to medical staff in the operation of life support systems.
  8. Ensure that safety protocols are observed in the use of medical equipment.
  9. Assist in the development and implementation of patient-care plans.
  10. Maintain accurate records of patient care activities.

Skills and Competencies to Have

  1. Knowledge of life support system operations and maintenance
  2. Familiarity with safety protocols and emergency procedures
  3. Ability to troubleshoot and diagnose mechanical and electrical systems
  4. Ability to read and interpret technical documentation and schematics
  5. Proficient in the use of computers and software applications
  6. Ability to write reports, logs, and other records
  7. Good communication skills
  8. Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  9. Ability to lift and carry heavy objects
  10. Knowledge of infection control procedures and proper sanitation techniques

Success as a Life Support Systems Technician requires a wide range of skills, but perhaps the most important of these is problem-solving. Problem-solving skills are necessary to identify and troubleshoot issues with the various pieces of life support equipment and systems, from ventilators to dialysis machines. A good technician needs to be able to assess a situation quickly and accurately, and develop a plan for repair or maintenance.

They also need to have a thorough knowledge of the machinery and its components, as well as be able to interpret technical manuals and schematics. With this knowledge, they can identify potential problems before they become serious issues. they must have excellent communication skills to explain complex concepts to medical personnel and other technicians.

A Life Support Systems Technician’s proficiency in problem-solving, knowledge of the machinery and its components, and communication skills are essential for success in this field.

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Frequent Interview Questions

  • How do you ensure that life support systems are operating in a safe and efficient manner?
  • What is your experience with troubleshooting and repairing medical equipment?
  • Describe a time you had to handle a challenging situation while working with a complex system.
  • How do you stay current with industry regulations and standards?
  • What have you done to increase your knowledge of life support systems?
  • Tell me about a project where you had to coordinate with multiple teams to complete a task.
  • How do you manage multiple priorities while ensuring accuracy and quality?
  • What techniques do you use to ensure that life support systems are monitored appropriately?
  • What safety protocols do you follow when using hazardous materials and equipment?
  • How do you handle regulatory audits and inspections?

Common Tools in Industry

  1. Ventilator. A machine that helps to mechanically move breathable air into and out of the lungs. (eg: Philips Respironics V60 Ventilator)
  2. Respiratory Monitor. A device that tracks a patient’s respiratory rate, oxygen saturation level, and other vital signs. (eg: Masimo Radical 7 Pulse Oximeter)
  3. Intubation Kit. A set of medical tools used to insert a breathing tube into a patient’s airway. (eg: Ambu Intubation Kit)
  4. Suction Machine. A machine that helps to remove mucus or other fluid from a patient’s airway. (eg: DeVilbiss Suction Machine)
  5. Oxygenator. A device that adds oxygen to the air being supplied to a patient. (eg: Maquet Servo-i Ventilator)
  6. IV Pumps. A device used to deliver fluids to patients intravenously. (eg: Alaris IV Pump)
  7. Defibrillator. A device used to shock a patient’s heart in order to restore a normal rhythm. (eg: Zoll X Series Defibrillator)
  8. Emergency Crash Cart. A wheeled cart stocked with emergency medications and equipment used in life-threatening situations. (eg: Welch Allyn Emergency Crash Cart)

Professional Organizations to Know

  1. Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI)
  2. International Association for Medical Equipment Technicians and Services (IAMETS)
  3. National Board for Certification in Medical Technology (NBRCMT)
  4. American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS)
  5. American Medical Technologists (AMT)
  6. Society of Certified Clinical Medical Technologists (SCMT)
  7. Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS)
  8. Association for the Healthcare Environment (AHE)
  9. Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC)
  10. American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN)

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Common Important Terms

  1. Life Support Systems. Systems designed to provide environmental conditions suitable for sustaining and preserving human life.
  2. Mechanical Ventilation. The process of using an artificial device to move air into and out of the lungs.
  3. Oxygen Therapy. The administration of oxygen to maintain adequate levels of oxygen in the body's tissues and cells.
  4. Respiratory Monitoring. The continuous monitoring of a patient's breathing patterns, oxygen saturation, and other respiratory parameters.
  5. Airway Management. Techniques used to assist a patient with their breathing, including positioning, airway clearance, and artificial airway placement.
  6. Infection Control. Strategies used to prevent and control the spread of infection, including hand hygiene, isolation techniques, and proper use of protective equipment.
  7. Ventilator Management. The management of a patient's ventilator settings, including settings for tidal volume, inspiratory time, and pressure support.
  8. Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). The process of providing chest compressions and artificial ventilation to restore circulation and ventilation in a patient suffering from cardiac arrest.
  9. Patient Assessment. The evaluation of a patient's overall condition, including their vital signs, physical examination, and laboratory tests.
  10. Emergency Management. The management of medical emergencies, including trauma and cardiac arrest, by providing advanced life support interventions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What qualifications are required for a Life Support Systems Technician?

A Life Support Systems Technician must have a high school diploma or equivalent and have a valid certification from the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies.

What is the job of a Life Support Systems Technician?

The job of a Life Support Systems Technician is to maintain and repair life support systems, such as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, and to ensure that they are functioning properly.

What duties does a Life Support Systems Technician perform?

A Life Support Systems Technician performs duties such as testing, inspecting, and repairing equipment; maintaining records; and performing preventative maintenance.

How much does a Life Support Systems Technician typically earn?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for a Life Support Systems Technician was $51,540 in May 2020.

What is the job outlook for a Life Support Systems Technician?

The job outlook for a Life Support Systems Technician is expected to grow by 8% from 2019-2029.

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