Clinical Engineering Practicum: a New Approach in Clinical Engineering Education

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The emerging concept of a clinical engineer is that of a parctitioner of engineering science as it applies to hospital medical devices and the technology of health care delivery. Therefore, in addition to the theoretical and scientific aspects of the clinical engineer's education, there must also be some form of experiential education under proper guidance. For most university-based clinical engineering programs, this takes the form of a hospital internship. The transition between the academic environment to the hospital environment is not always a smooth one, as there is a type of “culture shock” brought on by the new and extremely demanding situation encountered in the hospital. In an effort to improve the transition from university to hospital and allow the student to focus more sharply on his or her professional goals, the concept of the clinical engineering paracticum was developed. Its function is to be an introductory learning experience and half-way point between the hospital and the university.

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