A Day in the Life of a Medical Assembler: What They Do and Why It’s Important
June 22nd, 2018 Written by: Molly Masterson
The medical device manufacturing industry is growing at an incredible rate, with 11.6% growth expected worldwide. The Minnesota Medical Alley alone is the No. 1 medical technology cluster in the world, experiencing 14% job growth and generating billions of dollars in economic growth. All of this growth has created a hotbed for manufacturing, medical, and engineering professionals looking to start or further their careers.
If you’re looking to get into the medical device manufacturing industry and take advantage of its growth, becoming a medical device assembler is an excellent way to get your foot in the door.
As a common entry point into medical device manufacturing, medical assembly will give you a front-row seat into the medical device manufacturing process even if you have no previous experience.
But what is medical assembly and what exactly does a medical device assembler do? We’ll walk you through the answers to both questions down below.
What Is Medical Assembly?
Medical assembly is the process of putting together important, life-changing medical devices in a clean manufacturing facility. This allows for the creation of countless quality medical devices. The medical devices an assembler might work on are defined by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as:
“An instrument, apparatus, implement, machine, contrivance, implant, in vitro reagent, or other similar or related article, including any component, part, or accessory, which is intended for use in the diagnosis of disease or other conditions, or in the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, in man or other animals.”
As you can imagine this covers a wide range of devices, from insulin pumps to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) parts.
What Does a Medical Device Assembler Do?
As a part of the medical assembly process, medical device assemblers are responsible for a number of duties. To give you a taste of what those medical assembly duties might be, a medical assembler:
Pieces Together Life-Changing Devices
You can probably guess that the primary job duty for any medical assembler is to assemble medical devices. But depending on the medical device company you work for and the devices you’re assigned to, you might assemble hearing aids, pacemakers, defibrillators, stents, and more. It’s important to note that as a medical assembler, you’ll rarely need to assemble the entire device on your own. In fact, you might assemble just one component or part of a medical device.
And before you start to think that assembly is a simple manufacturing job, it actually requires a lot of skill. Because medical devices are typically made up of smaller components, medical assemblers need to be great at handling tiny, intricate parts and piecing them together with precision. Without these handling skills, mistakes can be made and a device may become defective.
Ensures Quality, Cleanliness, and Safety
There’s a lot riding on the medical devices you help create as a medical assembler. On the other end of the manufacturing process is a patient that needs the device you’re working on to improve their quality of life. As you can imagine, this puts a lot of pressure on medical device manufacturers to produce high quality devices.
As a medical assembler, you need to stay on top of your hygiene, safety, and quality standards to ensure that the devices you create are first-rate. To do this, you need a great eye for detail in order to catch potential errors before a device progresses in the manufacturing process. This not only helps you while assembling devices, but also allows you to perform efficient and accurate quality checks on each device you create.
Documents Device History With Accuracy
Medical devices and their manufacturing are closely regulated by the FDA, requiring medical assemblers to carefully and accurately document each and every device they work on. These are called Good Documentation Practices (GDP).
Through documentation, medical device manufacturers are able to keep detailed and definitive histories for each medical device unit they manufacture in the event of an audit, on-site inspection, or a lawsuit. As a result, you need to keep a detailed record of the device you’re working on, what tasks you performed, and where the device went next.
Follows Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP)
When assembling medical devices that make an incredible difference in a patient’s life, it’s extremely important that medical device assemblers have excellent personal hygiene to prevent any potential contamination or defects. In fact, this is so important that the FDA created quality standards that outline best practices for cleanliness in their Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). To follow these GMPs, medical assemblers need to remove jewelry, restrain hair, wear gloves, and more, to help minimize germs and maintain a clean room environment.
Still Think Medical Assembly Is Right for You?
From putting together medical device components to maintaining a clean room environment, there are a lot of important tasks that medical device assemblers do. If those medical assembly duties sound ideal to you, medical assembly could become a great career.
Ready to break into an industry that can change lives? As a medical device assembly staffing agency, we can help. Get started by taking advantage of our medical assembly resume writing tips that potential employers will love.