Making a Difference

As we finish celebrating Healthcare Technology Management Week and all that biomedical equipment technicians (BMETs), clinical engineers and the rest of the Healthcare Technology Management (HTM) members contribute to patient care, I pondered the evolution of biomedical/clinical engineering over the 30 years I have been in the industry.

What we have witnessed is truly astonishing when looking at the development of the HTM field and the professionals who now are the backbone of hospitals, medical centers and clinics.

“Making a Difference” is an appropriate title for what the HTM profession does today and this article will explore the traits modern, successful BMETS possess to make a difference when it comes to ultrasound (or other device) support.

Having the pleasure of partnering with hundreds of BMETs from across the country and around the world with in-house ultrasound support programs, I have noticed that all progressive/successful ones have several things in common with the first being a strong sense of curiosity. How does this work? Why do we do things a certain way? What if we tried doing this instead? Being a non-linear thinker is a major asset in the HTM field when it comes to repairs, processes and new modalities to take in-house. Complementing this is a willingness to take calculated risks when something new can be done, something can be done better or differently, or an old way of doing something can be discarded.

The best BMETs also have a high EmotionalQuotient (EQ) or Emotional Intelligence (EI) which is the combination of personality traits, social graces, communication skills, language, personal habits, interpersonal skills and the ability to manage up, down and laterally. This includes interrelating with fellow team members, management, clinical department staff and even hospital administration. These soft skills complement the strong technical skills typically associated with BMETS and are equally important, if not more so, in my opinion.

Going the extra mile is also readily apparent in today’s successful BMETs. Having been in field service for 25 years, I learned the day is not over until customers are satisfied or, at the very least, all options have been exhausted for the day. This mindset is something I see every day in the HTM profession and separates a good engineer from a great one.

The HTM field has changed dramatically over the last 30 years and I am continually amazed to see what it has become today. Thank you to all of you for what you do and who you have become.

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