Packer Perspective: Protecting Our Industry With Standardized Repair Training

Published in Complex Rehab on July 03, 2019

Everyone in the industry knows that there is a limited amount of professional training in the marketplace for wheelchair repair technicians. That is why U.S. Rehab, in coordination with the industry and FIOS DME Repair, has created the DMERT Group, a certifying body to establish proper repair and training standards. The DMERT Group offers three levels of education to help techs earn the three corresponding levels of certifications. This training costs no more than what the current market cost is, and it distinguishes our technicians at a high level of professionalism. This training and certification shows that not just anyone can repair specialized medical equipment and that only qualified, certified technicians should be working on these devices.

The DMERT Group’s efforts have been widely accepted throughout the industry. If it continues to grow and gain support through working relationships with the University of Pittsburgh, NRRTS, and RESNA, the recognition of this expertise becomes an industry-led effort in order to reduce the amount of amateur repair technicians who may have good intentions but do not understand medical equipment thoroughly enough to be able to conduct a professional repair. Someone who repairs a medical device with little know-how has a major chance of damaging the equipment further or putting the client at risk if not repaired properly, and that is why the DMERT Group hopes to reduce that risk through proper training and certification standards. A properly trained and certified technician also gives our industry manufacturers that extra protection when it comes to liability. This certification makes it easier to show that highly trained professionals are working on their complex medical equipment.

The training in each level of the DMERT certification reflects specific types of equipment. Below are the specific content areas of each level of certification:

LEVEL 1: Basic medical equipment from walkers and manual wheelchairs to hospital beds, scooters and Group 2 consumer power chairs. 

  • Manual Equipment Foundations     
  • Patient Lifts, Standing Frames, and Hospital Beds 
  • Rollator, Walkers and ADLs    
  • Lift Chairs
  • Manual Wheelchairs    
  • Scooters: Components and Troubleshooting
  • Tilt-in-Space Manual Wheelchairs    
  • Powerchairs
  • Motors    
  • Batteries: Theory and Troubleshooting
  • Electronics Theory     
  • Joysticks and Programming

LEVEL 2: CRT manual wheelchairs, Group 3 power chairs and basic seating adjustments and installation. DMERT- approved Level 2 courses are anticipated to be available by the end of July 2019. 

  • Manual Wheelchairs Advanced     
  • R-Net (PG Drives) Programming and Specialty Controls 
  • Seating Basics    
  • Curtis (Q-Logic) Programming and Specialty Controls
  • Seating Adjustments    
  • Dynamic (LiNX) Programming and Specialty Controls
  • Powerchair Powered Seating Repair     

LEVEL 3: Technician trainer able to teach in community colleges or any other approved training venue.

Similar to other Tech Training sessions hosted by U.S. Rehab, each of these levels contains both a written exam and a hands-on challenge exam to give techs a thorough, well-rounded training. 

The executive board, including myself, Matthew Macpherson, Dan Fedor, Mark Schmeler, and Steve Cranna, is looking forward to the DMERT Group becoming a larger, industry-wide effort in professionalizing the industry. The support that the DMERT Group has received from the industry has been excellent, but there’s always more that can be done in getting the group’s mission accomplished. If you would like to be involved with the DMERT Group, you can contact anyone on the executive board, or contact U.S. Rehab at (800) 987-7342.

Greg Packer
[email protected]
(800) 981-7342

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