Crothall Healthcare’s Jarmaine Strickland, BMET II, and Gabriela Wojciak, BMET I, work on a device.
A U.S. national BMET Apprenticeship Program recently launched by AAMI has gained a valuable new employer partner. Crothall Healthcare (Crothall), a leading U.S. healthcare support services provider, will be hiring 10 biomedical equipment technicians (BMETs) in its Healthcare Technology Solutions (HTS) division within the year.
“AAMI’s apprenticeship program will allow us to diversify our talent pipeline further and ensure our company culture, protocols, and processes are instilled in our team from the very first day,” said Codi Nelson, CBET, Crothall Healthcare Technology Solutions program director.
AAMI’s BMET Apprenticeship Program, recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor, combines traditional education with up to 6,000 hours of on-the-job learning. Prospective BMETs are hired by program partners in their area, who then provide them with training and paid work experience, as well as cover expenses for the requisite educational courses.
Crothall HTS provides a valuable perspective for apprentices working with evolving and increasingly networked medical device technologies, and the company offers clinical engineering service solutions for clients nationwide, including diagnostic imaging repair services, transparent medical equipment management and medical device cybersecurity.
Crothall HTS’s broad reach across the country is just one reason why Danielle McGeary, vice president of HTM at AAMI, is thrilled to call them an employer partner for the growing BMET Apprenticeship Program, she said, “With Crothall HTS participating in this national program, prospective BMETs will have more opportunities to get the hands-on experiences that are so necessary for this crucial field.”
Applicants interested in apprenticing at Crothall can find postings on the company’s career page at crothall.com/careers.
“An apprentice could be someone who’s ready for a career change, has an interest in the field but doesn’t have the means or life flexibility to go to college at this point in their life, or it could be someone just out of high school or in high school,” said McGeary. “This program is intended to bridge that gap to get them the training they need to be successful while concurrently helping to facilitate the strong healthcare technology management pipeline the field so desperately needs right now.”
Employers who take part in the program, McGeary added, benefit from having entry-level workers on their payroll they can train to their particular equipment and service specialties.
“If an employer wants someone to stay after the apprenticeship ends, they’ll already be up to speed – they won’t need retraining,” she said.
An Essential Pipeline
Within the healthcare technology management field, BMETs bring critical expertise in medical device maintenance to health care providers, as the role is responsible for routinely servicing the medical devices that are needed to monitor patient health or record important data. Unfortunately, AAMI estimates that nearly half of the current HTM workforce is over the age of 50. As more BMETs retire and the number of college programs to train new HTM professionals dwindles, healthcare systems will find it increasingly difficult to fill these crucial positions.
“As the first 10 apprentices complete their first year, we will have at least 10 more start the program each successive year. This gives us the opportunity to have a consistent flow of new apprentices participating in and completing the program on an annual basis,” said Nelson.
Fortunately, the national BMET Apprenticeship Program is helping to address this by providing valuable training opportunities with industry leaders such as Crothall HTS, with no cost to the apprentice. What’s more, the cost of supporting an apprentice may prove lower than employers expect.
For example, Fluke Biomedical is offering 22 hours of free training for apprentices, which counts towards the program’s “Medical Equipment Training from Industry Sources” curriculum. And the College of Biomedical Equipment Technology is offering apprentices exclusive access to its anatomy & physiology and mathematics classes at a 20% discount for apprentice employers.
“Our Apprenticeship Program continues to grow with the support of these incredible organizations,” said McGeary. “I’m excited to see even more companies join us in paving the way for the next generation of exceptional BMETs.”
Sheila O’Donnell, vice president of Crothall’s Technical Resource Group summed it up by saying, “Crothall HTS is so appreciative of the groundwork that AAMI has laid to enable us to launch its BMET Apprenticeship Program. Tremendous thought and planning have gone into all aspects of the program including curriculum, registration requirements with the Department of Labor, and marketing tools. We believe now is the time to invest and develop new talent for our industry and Crothall HTS.”
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