UConn’s Clinical Engineering Program: Bridging the Gap Between Biomedical Engineering and Healthcare

UConns Clinical Engineering Program Bridging the Gap Between Biomedical Engineering and Healthcare

UConn’s Clinical Engineering Internship Program offers students a unique opportunity to gain real-world experience while pursuing a master’s degree in biomedical engineering.

For aspiring biomedical engineers like Danielle McGeary, the path to a fulfilling career can sometimes be unclear. However, a presentation on the role of clinical engineers sparked her interest and led her to UConn’s Clinical Engineering Internship Program. This one-of-a-kind program combines graduate-level engineering courses with hands-on experience in a hospital setting. With no other program like it in the country, UConn is providing students with the opportunity to gain invaluable real-world experience while working towards a master’s degree.

Clinical Engineering Internship Program: Immersion in the Healthcare Environment
UConn’s Clinical Engineering Internship Program is designed to give students a comprehensive understanding of clinical engineering. Over the course of two academic years, students work as clinical engineering interns in a hospital while completing 10 graduate-level engineering courses. This unique program not only provides students with a master’s degree in biomedical engineering but also equips them with over 1,500 hours of clinical engineering experience.

During their internships, students are exposed to a wide range of responsibilities, including technology assessment research, product evaluations, incident investigation, and healthcare technology quality improvement. They also attend regular meetings to share their experiences and learn from experts in the field. The program has seen great success, with over 150 students graduating in the past 15 years and 24 currently enrolled.

Realizing Career Goals: From Internship to Professional Success
Danielle McGeary’s internship at Hartford Hospital paved the way for her successful career as a clinical engineer. She worked alongside experienced professionals, providing technical support and education to clinicians and physicians. Her internship experience led to full-time employment at Hartford Hospital, where she continued to make a difference in patient care through her work in medical equipment planning and cybersecurity.

McGeary’s story is not unique. Many graduates of UConn’s Clinical Engineering Internship Program have gone on to have successful careers in the field. They have found employment in hospitals, service organizations, equipment planning firms, and medical equipment manufacturers. The program’s unique combination of academic coursework and hands-on experience prepares students for a variety of roles within the healthcare industry.

Expanding Opportunities: The CAEE Master of Engineering in Clinical Engineering Program
In addition to the Clinical Engineering Internship Program, UConn’s College of Engineering offers a remote, part-time degree path for those already working in the clinical engineering field. The Center for Advanced Engineering Education (CAEE) offers a Master of Engineering (MENG) in biomedical engineering with a clinical engineering concentration. This program is designed for professionals who are already employed in a hospital environment and want to advance their careers through further education.

The CAEE program focuses on coursework rather than internships, allowing students to gain advanced knowledge and skills in clinical engineering. This degree can open doors to promotions and upper-level management positions within the field. The program offers a range of clinical engineering courses, covering topics such as human error and medical device accidents, engineering problems in hospitals, and medical device cybersecurity.

A Legacy of Excellence: UConn’s Clinical Engineering Program
UConn’s Clinical Engineering Program has a rich history dating back to 1975 when it was started by Joseph Bronzino. Over the years, the program has grown and expanded, offering internships at hospitals in multiple states. The program’s success is attributed to the support and mentorship provided by clinical engineering directors in the hospitals. These directors play a crucial role in guiding and nurturing students, ensuring they gain valuable experience and knowledge in the field.

Conclusion:

UConn’s Clinical Engineering Program is a trailblazer in the field, providing students with a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience while pursuing a master’s degree in biomedical engineering. The program’s success is evident in the achievements of its graduates, who have gone on to have successful careers in various healthcare settings. Whether through the Clinical Engineering Internship Program or the CAEE Master of Engineering in Clinical Engineering Program, UConn is shaping the future of clinical engineering, bridging the gap between biomedical engineering and healthcare.