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Brothers Enhance Knowledge in Biomedical Equipment Technology 

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Paul (left) and Edgar Alcala, TSTC Biomedical Equipment Technology students, perform preventative maintenance on an ultrasound imaging machine. (TSTC Photo)
Paul (left) and Edgar Alcala, TSTC Biomedical Equipment Technology students, perform preventative maintenance on an ultrasound imaging machine. (TSTC Photo)

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HARLINGEN, Texas – Brothers Edgar and Paul Alcala, of San Benito, are enrolled in the Biomedical Equipment Technology program at Texas State Technical College’s Harlingen campus.

Now in their third semester at TSTC, they continue to persevere in their college journey toward Associate of Applied Science degrees.

What drew you to this program of study at TSTC?

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Edgar Alcala: I have been disassembling and reassembling items since I was young. One of those items was a Super Nintendo controller, and a wire to the controller was loose. I used some special tools to take it apart, and I fixed it. I have been fixing items with my hands ever since.

Years later I began to fix electronics. Then a family friend that graduated from TSTC’s Biomedical Equipment Technology program recommended the program because of my experience.

I also previously attended TSTC. At the time, I earned a certificate of completion in HVAC Refrigeration Mechanic in 2010 from TSTC. I am also registered with the state as an air conditioning and refrigeration technician.

Paul Alcala: I have repaired many technological devices since I was 16 years old. I grew an appreciation for configuring those devices to my preferences. Through that experience I began to repair electronics. I also pursued the program as a suggestion from that same family friend.

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What have you enjoyed about TSTC’s Biomedical Equipment Technology program?

Edgar Alcala: I enjoy learning how to diagnose, troubleshoot and repair electronic items. This could be a computer monitor versus a heart monitor. The inputs are completely different, but the display will be the same.

Paul Alcala: It is engaging to study the technical side of this program. It is stimulating to understand how the components operate. Then I learn how the different paths on the circuits interact to make the system function.

What is your motivation for success at TSTC?

Edgar Alcala: What is important is that my brother and I motivate each other in the classroom and at home. For me, the more I can accomplish is the equivalent to excellent grades. That places me into a better position for job placement. At some point I will seek an internship and gain experience. I would like to establish my own small biomedical equipment company.

Paul Alcala: We definitely encourage each other to succeed. As for me, I know I will accomplish the goals I have set for myself. The skills I gain in this program will contribute to my career success.

How do your instructors elevate your potential?

Edgar Alcala: I have learned great knowledge from (Oziel) Capetillo. His lectures are incredible, and I absorb that knowledge quickly.

Paul Alcala: I really enjoy (David) Sanchez’s teaching methods because he allows his students to learn through trial and error. He will assist me during that process if I have any questions.

Medical equipment repairers can earn an average annual salary of $47,720 in Texas, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of such jobs in the state is projected to increase 12% by 2028, onetonline.org shows.

TSTC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Biomedical Equipment Technology at its Harlingen and Waco campuses.

Registration for the fall semester is underway. For more information, visit tstc.edu.

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