We have discussed attending conferences briefly in previous articles. There are several renewal points available through attending conferences.
There are a few ways to break down conference attendance. You can count each day you attend for a half point per day or you can claim each educational session you attend. There are several conferences available each year. They is an easy way to get your maximum 10 points in three years for the education category.
The big tradeshow/conferences are the AAMI Conference and the biannual MD Expo. The AAMI Conference is usually held in early June. The location changes each year. So it is nice to attend when it’s in your area or close to your area of the country. It is the biggest conference of its type for our profession. This year it’s in my hometown of Denver, Colorado. If you are attending this year and see me there please say “Hi.” I would like to hear from you.
The MD Expo has more availability. It occurs twice a year and usually there is an East Coast or eastern Expo and a West Coast or western Expo. They occur in the spring and fall. The spring 2015 Expo just ended, it was in Nashville. The fall MD Expo will be in Las Vegas in October. It’s not too late to make plans now!
Last year MD Publishing, the parent company of the MD Expo and TechNation magazine, added an imaging expo. There will be an Imaging Expo in Indianapolis again this year. The Imaging Expo will be held July 22-24. For details, visit MDExpoShow.com.
Another big difference that I have seen in the two conferences is the AAMI Conference has more OEMs. AAMI has some of the latest technology from the OEMs that is either new to the market or not quite on the market yet. MD Expo has a lot of Independent Service Organizations (ISOs). ISOs are companies that can help you source parts and repairs usually for less money than going through the OEM. Both conferences have plenty of ISOs at them. Every hospital I know of is talking about ways to save money these days. So, not only can you get education through the educational sessions, you can also meet vendors that can save you money. On top of that, you can meet other techs and managers from around the country and build your own professional network.
Let’s not leave out your local biomed association. Here in Colorado we have an annual show called the CABMET Symposium. We have an educational track and we also have a trade show. It is much smaller than the bigger national shows. There are several area or state associations that have annual meetings. If you are up to it, you can present at a show like this. Presenting is a good way to get points too. A presentation at a state or local show can earn you half a point per presentation.
Remember the renewal period is three years, so if you go to a conference every year or every other year this will go a long way in getting points toward renewing your certification.
Until next time, keep your journal up to date.
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