“No Man Is an Island” is the title of a poem written more than 500 years ago by poet John Donn, but it describes what I would like to discuss this month. Whether you have been performing ultrasound support for three months or, like me, three decades, you will always need a support structure to assist you when you run out of ideas or need assistance.
It is important for service engineers in any modality to develop a personal network of people they can rely on to assist them. I recall hiring an engineer a decade ago who asked me, “When are you going to give me access to your network of people?” I replied that building a network is an individual responsibility, but I assisted him in getting started – the rest was up to him. This network includes colleagues, representatives from Independent Service Organizations, the manufacturers and even competitors. Yes, some of my best contacts are folks we actually compete with.
I also recommend attending events that bring folks from the industry together such as the MD Expo and AAMI shows as well as joining local biomedical associations. I cannot emphasize strongly enough how attending these events has helped people build their personal networks.
Another important relationship is with a reliable, quality-minded organization like Conquest Imaging. We have a team of experts on standby to assist service engineers with all types of technical assistance. These support engineers are manufacturer specific repair technicians or field service engineers who have been in your position and understand your needs and the systems you are working on.
Furthermore, there are electronic sources of information you can tap into. Personally, I like the MedWrench website sponsored by MD Publishing at www.medwrench.com, which has separate pages for different modalities. You can go to the ultrasound section and access technical tips, manuals or ask specific questions.
There are a wide variety of resources available to service folks, but you must take an active role in creating your own support structure. It makes all the difference in the world.