Congratulations, you have chosen the most rewarding career a person could possibly imagine. Your career will expose you to a wide variety of devices like lasers, X-ray, MRI, infusion pumps, electrosurgical generators, defibrillators, cardiac monitors and many others. Staying abreast of new developments and devices in your field will keep you challenged throughout the remainder of your career. Along with your growing knowledge of these devices, you will learn firsthand how physicians, nurses and other specialists apply these technologies to help improve the lives of infants, children and adults. Beside your involvement with these technologies, you will also have the satisfaction of knowing that you are part of a large and complex team that improves peoples’ lives by providing vitally needed healthcare services to your community.
If you are a recent school graduate and still looking for that first job, you should be aware that not all biomedical engineering programs are alike. Throughout the country, you will find many excellent programs that have outstanding and dedicated managers whose technicians love coming to work every day. Take your time, do your homework and you just might wind up working for one of them. Be aware, however, that a hospital’s reputation or size does not necessarily reflect the quality of its biomedical engineering program. Consequently, some of the best and largest hospitals in the nation may have the worst departments.
You can use your job interviews to find out which departments are right for you. Always treat any interview as a two way street. They are interviewing you, while you are interviewing them to find out if this is the best place for you to work. Feel free to ask the department manager questions. Ask what goals they have for the department and pay careful attention to their answer. Ask about their management style and philosophy. Ask what they have done to improve customer service and how they work to improve relations with physicians and nurses. Find out how they deal with intrapersonal issues when they arise. If you do not get satisfactory answers to these questions, do not take the job. Avoid managers who claim that they are too busy putting out fires to think about those things. When people are too busy putting out fires, it is a sign that they are reacting to circumstances rather than managing them. Avoid managers who complain that they could do more but administration always gets in the way. Those managers are blaming others for their own shortcomings
During your career, you will meet many people. If you are lucky, within your department there will be a few “old timers” who have years of experience. Be sure to ask them questions because that is the quickest way you can learn from their experience. They know the common failures you will find with each device. They know how to solve the tricky problems and can help you learn about the correct tools, solvents, adhesives and cleaning solutions to help you do quality work. They will also know the key people back at the factory who can provide you with troubleshooting and parts identification assistance.
Besides those BMETs who will help in your career development, you will meet some who are very negative. Some BMETs and their managers enjoy trash talking about nurses and doctors. They speak of them as if they are some type of enemy. They complain about not being treated with respect by other departments and hospital administrators. The best thing you can do is avoid these types. They are an embarrassment to the profession and if you choose to listen to them, you will gradually find yourself isolated from the physicians, nurses and other professionals who are directly responsible for the day-to-day successes in your hospital.
More next week. Frank39@gmail.com
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