The term technical assistant is very extensive. At BREATH there are many different types of technical assistant, such as:
- medical laboratory technician
- medical technical radiology assistant
- chemical technical assistant
- biological technical assistant
- operation technical assistant
- pharmaceutical technical assistant
- surgical technical assistant
Depending on the specialist field of training and the field of application, the area of activity can differ greatly.
Classic areas of responsibility of technical assistants are, for example:
- preparation of the instruments and equipment before an operation
- dealing with patients
- carrying out diagnostic procedures
- administration and documentation
- performing biological, microbiological and clinical chemical tests
- manufacture of preparations and nutrient media
- operation, monitoring and maintenance of technical equipment
- performance of control tests (quality)
Currently there are a total of 28 technical assistants at the MHH and two at the Fraunhofer ITEM in the BREATH research network.
Medical documentation assistants today play an ever-increasing key role between the doctor and technology. The documentation in medical institutions is crucial, since all services performed on a patient must be recorded and evaluated.
The duties of a medical documentation assistant include:
- data recording, processing and storage
- dealings with EDP and classification and documentation systems
- data processing
- archiving of patient files, organizing and carrying out microfilming
- specialist literature research
- introduction and use of hospital information systems, organization of communication between experts
The classic field of application of cardiac technology is no longer to be found purely in the Cardiac, Thoracic, Transplantation and Vascular Surgery departments of hospitals. Cardiac technicians are being increasingly employed in medical scientific institutes and research establishments as well as in companies manufacturing medical equipment.
Examples of the areas of responsibility are:
- monitoring of vital parameters and analysis of the blood chemistry
- planning, preparation, performance and documentation of all procedures necessary for machine-assisted maintenance of the blood circulation during an operation
- carrying out circulatory backup and blood processing procedures
- medical technical support for organ transplantations
- documentation and statistics
Because of the high level of responsibility for the complex equipment, advanced training and continuing education programs are of great importance. The innovations on the medical product market and in medical technology demand that personnel constantly keep up-to-date.
There is also a possibility to work as a study nurse in the different projects. Study nurses act as the interface between the patients, project leaders, principal investigators, scientific and external employees. The work is based on Good Clinical Practice guidelines as well as the German drug law (AMG).
Responsibilities (varying according to the project) include:
- assistance in dealing with contractual matters, project applications/forms
- clarification support for patients
- patient care throughout the study, including aftercare
- preparation, organization and coordination of diagnostic material, the laboratory, sample dispatch and study medication etc.
- documentation/ data collection/ archiving/ administration
- monitoring of adherence to appointments/deadlines
- information management
- contact person for principal investigators (PI), project coordinators, authorities, sponsors and patients
Due to the diversity of the task spectrum of a study nurse, qualified and committed persons with a basic medical education are employed in the BREATH network, such as nursing staff, medical assistants and medical documentation assistants.