Filling the gap between doctors and engineers: Biomedical Engineering
For those willing to work in the healthcare sector — helping in diagnosis and treatment of patients without becoming a doctor — pursuing a career as biomedical engineer could be one alternative. Biomedical engineers design equipment and devices required for diagnosing medical problems. For that one needs to study Biomedical Engineering.
And the College of Biomedical Engineering and Applied Sciences ( CBEAS), Dhana Ganesh, Handigaun has been offering the Bachelor’s level course since 2005.Affiliated to Purbanchal University, it is the only college in the country offering BE in Biomedical Engineering.
" BE in Biomedical Engineering is a fusion of medicine and engineering,” explained Vishwa P Shrivastava, Principal of CBEAS, adding, “ It deals with all engineering materials required for clinical diagnosis of the body. The course deals with engineering of artificial organs, implantable devices, cardiac assisting devices, imaging and other diagnostic and therapeutic equipment.” The college is running a fouryear semester- based course and Shrivastava called the course a “ demand of current time”. Elaborating the need for the course, he explained, “ Biomedical engineers design devices such as stethoscope, X- ray machine, and artificial valves among others. Without these devices doctors won’t be able to do a proper diagnosis or treatment.
So, those who have studied this course design and construct new materials and devices that can be used for diagnosis and treatment of people.” That is why this course cannot be explained in isolation, argued Anup Neupane, BE in Biomedical Engineering VIIIth Semester student at CBEAS. He expressed, “ It is an interdisciplinary course that deals with medicine, biology, engineering and more.” Since this course deals with many different subjects, “ Biomedical engineering fills the gap between medical doctors and engineers,” added his classmate Ashmita Karki.
Biomedical engineers in demand
The graduates of bachelor’s level course of Biomedical Engineering can work in varied fields. They can work as biomedical engineers in hospitals, clinical instrument manufacturing companies and as researchers.
Giving instances of international practices, Shrivastava informed that a hospital with capacity of 50 beds must have one biomedical engineer on standby for the maintenance of various machines used in hospitals.
“ Before the existence of biomedical engineers, the machines used in the hospitals were either maintained by computer engineers, electronic engineers or mechanical engineers,” he revealed. “ But biomedical engineers are not limited to computer or electronic engineering only, they are also able to study life and medicine. Thus, when the Biomedical Engineering course was introduced, it became popular, as biomedical engineers know the methodologies of both medicine and machine, for the study of life. And they can work together with medical doctors,” he explained the popularity of course at the international level.
But what is the demand for biomedical engineers who graduate from CBEAS? Shrivastava stated, “ This is our twelfth batch this year and we have seen our graduates doing well within the country as well as abroad.” The college is also planning to start MSc in Biomedical Engineering from this year. It will begin from December, as per Shrivastava.
Grim national scenario
Though the demand for biomedical engineers at the international level is said to be high, the situation is quite gloomy in the case of Nepal.
“ There is no post allocated for biomedical engineers in the government hospitals in Nepal,” complained Shrivastava.
Neupane added, “ This profession has not yet been recognised here. Most of the professionals still are not aware of this discipline and we have to explain what we are capable of doing.” He further stated optimistically, “ But this is a subject with lots of potential.” Likewise, as CBEAS is the only college to offer the course, many students have benefited from it.
And Karki is happy that “ our college is providing us with as much facilities as it can”. Yet they can’t learn practical lessons to full extent because “ our college can’t provide us with better practical equipment as we are a developing country and some materials or devices required during our practical work are not available in the country.” Nonetheless, Karki is hopeful of her future as her “ seniors have established themselves in this career”.
Who can study?
Any student completing their 2 level with at least second division from Science stream ( with Biology Physics or Chemistry as major subject) is eligible to sit for the entrance exams taken by the college.
Sixty students are selected from among applicants to pursue the four- year BE in Biomedical Engineering course at CBEAS, and that costs Rs 800,000.
A certain number of students also get scholarship. Vishwa P Shrivastava, Principal of CBEAS informed, “ Five per cent of the total students get full scholarship on the basis of their entrance exams results, and on merit basis.
And another five per cent scholarship is for reserved category.” Filling the gap between doctors and engineers
Source: the himalayan times, 24 august 2016
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