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Training tomorrow's HTM professionals

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | May 16, 2022
HTM Parts And Service
From the May 2022 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

Jessyka Wright, director of biomedical services at Christus Trinity Mother Frances Hospital and director of clinical engineering at Crothall Healthcare Technology Solutions, says her hospital is doing just this by speaking about the profession at middle and high school assemblies, career fairs and presentations. ”We're drumming up information at our local high schools in order to get the high school students to come and volunteer and shadow our department so that we can sort of steer them in the direction of going to college for a biomedical degree. That's really helped us here in a very short amount of time to fill some of our entry-level positions.”

She adds that it's important to establish relationships with people in the local community to get the word out and to have representatives of different genders, ages and ethnicities to make the environment more inclusive.

Scot Mackeil, a CBET and 2018 BMET of the Year, says HTM professional societies, healthcare organizations, manufacturers and colleagues with training programs also need to play a part in recruitment efforts. "It's common for hospitals to have career fairs. It would be helpful if their CE/biomed departments participated in those events, representing the profession and recruiting candidates. Societies have a role to play in that when we have symposiums, we can reach out and invite other sectors of the technology industry to attend and see the career opportunities we have to offer.”

Getting providers involved
For hospitals and other healthcare organizations to spread the word about the HTM field, they must understand what BMETs and clinical engineers bring to their operations and how this enhances their quality of care. “Until they understand our value, they're not going to accurately promote our field,” said McGeary. “I think first education has to occur in the hospital, so that those people clearly understand our roles and what we do.”

McGeary and other experts agree that the primary way of doing this is for HTM professionals to establish relationships with executives, administrators and clinicians, so they can more easily discuss equipment needs. “As a nurse or hospital administrator, the most helpful thing you can do is give a lot of information whenever services are needed on devices, including best times and best accessibility for equipment,” said Wright. “We actually partner with all of our department heads monthly to discuss with each what items they might have been unable to locate for their assigned areas or any challenges we've had with repairs on their areas.”

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