By GE Careers
“Being the eldest sibling, I’ve always had that nurturing instinct. My younger sisters will often say ‘Karen, you’re not our Mom!’ But whether it’s them or my cousins, family or friends – I like to make sure that the people around me are taken care of.”
To hear her talk about the people she loves is to understand why Karen excels in her role at GE Healthcare. But the path she took to get here played a big part too.
“After a year of college, I realized that I couldn’t really afford it,” says Karen, “so I had to get creative and find a way to pay. A friend suggested the military so, at the age of nineteen, I joined the Air Force as a Biomedical Technician.”
“I’d always been interested in healthcare,” she continues, “but, to be honest, I didn’t know what a Biomedical Technician was until I joined the Air Force!”
The next seven years proved incredibly formative and gave Karen both the technical knowledge and the ability to cope in high-pressure situations that have since served her well in her civilian career.
“Strictly speaking, I joined GE Healthcare as a Biomedical Technician,’ she says, “working for an ambulatory surgery center. But in effect I was also the Site Leader, the person reporting to safety committee meetings. There was so much more to it than a standard Biomed role.”
“When my current position became available, it was my manager who put me forward,” Karen says. “My interview with the Director of Service went well. He was impressed by my metrics and the way I’d been running my site. I’m sure the supervisory experience I gained in the Air Force also counted in my favor.”
And how does the role compare to being a Biomedical Technician?
“I absolutely love it!” Karen says. “Particularly the people aspect; supporting my techs and developing our relationship with the customer. But there’s plenty about the Biomed’s role I do still miss: being hands-on with the equipment; walking the wards; getting to know the doctors and nurses; being part of their team too.”
In her current role, Karen’s proudest moment came after she’d arranged for one of her technicians to attend a training course on fetal monitors and infant incubators.
“When he came back from that training,” Karen says, “he was just so energized!” He said that he’d started to forget – or just lose sight of – what the job was about. And that the training course had given him the chance to reflect and appreciate once again the incredible impact of his day-to-day work.”
“For me, that sense of achievement,” Karen adds, “is perhaps the best thing about working in healthcare.”
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