By Cindy Stephens
Today’s increasingly complex medical equipment illustrates how the Healthcare Technology Management (HTM) career field has advanced. It also puts biomedical equipment technicians in high demand. Many health care systems are scrambling to keep up with new technology that can be complicated and challenging.
Due to the constant change in healthcare technology, today’s HTM professionals must understand the equipment’s application as well as its interaction with patients. The diversity of equipment often calls for specialization that requires additional training requirements and responsibilities.
Most health care employers know the importance of hiring or sustaining workers who are broadening their knowledge. It is surprising that many employees and candidates are bewildered when they are laid off, not promoted or not hired because they lack relevant or current technical and managerial skills.
Employers are looking for employees who are eager and enthusiastic about learning. Employees with strong technical skills and equally strong communication skills will rise above the pack, especially when they demonstrate that they are constant learners.
It is critical to remain relevant and keep abreast of health care’s changing technology and that requires continous learning and relearning. It is especially important for seasoned workers to be competitive and ensure they stay up to date on technological advances. Complacency can lead to being overlooked when it comes to career advancement opportunities.
Individuals can invest in professional development through continuing education and certifications. Specialty training along with experience will build an individual’s competencies and reputation. Do not hesitate to take the initiative and learn on your own time and at your own expense, if necessary.
Although improving skills doesn’t always mean investing in higher education, it is an option, and perhaps necessary depending on individual career goals. There are many possibilities when it comes to advancing knowledge and skills. If an employer does not offer additional training, look to professional organizations, community colleges and online technical training sessions to obtain education and certification. Advancing education, obtaining advanced degrees and achieving relevant certifications are all valuable investments.
Keep abreast of technology by reading trade journals, magazines and manufacturer literature. Participate in webinars on new equipment or read about new technology on manufacturers’ web pages and other websites.
Take a weekend or evening training class at a local community college or technical school. Enroll in workshops and attend conferences to expand your knowledge.
Learning a new skill or enhancing current knowledge is an investment that will keep individuals at the cutting edge of the HTM career field. If uncertain of what training is needed or how to get to the next step in your career, find a mentor who can provide guidance.
HTM educational and technical training requirements have expanded. Many health care systems are requiring a minimum of an associate or bachelor’s degree in biomedical technology, military-trained BMET program or appropriate training at an accredited technical college.
Many BMETs pursue professional certification, satisfying certain education requirements and passing an examination to become a Certified Healthcare Technology Manager (CHTM), Certified Biomedical Equipment Technician (CBET), a Certified Radiology Equipment Specialists (CRES), or a Certified Laboratory Equipment Specialists (CLES). In many cases, carrying one or more of these certifications is highly encouraged, respected within the technical community and may provide salary increases or bonus potential.
As the field continues to work closer with IT departments, the demand for networking knowledge and additional certifications will continue to rise. These include Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Net+, Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP), Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), or Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT). Companies will always be looking for individuals to bridge the gap between the departments. This trend is not new, but will continue to rise as the ever-changing technology wheel keeps turning.
Professional development is a long-term, continuing process and shaping your career path is up to you. Remain relevant in the HTM career field by investing in professional development. Keep up to date on the latest industry trends and technologies in today’s competitive, high-tech market! You can be a tremendous success if you are willing to work at it.
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