Baylor Scott & White (BSW) is the largest not-for-profit health care system in Texas. The health care system grew out of the union of Baylor Health Care System and Scott and White Healthcare. With four-dozen hospitals and an additional 800 patient care sites, it offers services to a large patient population.
The expansive system keeps a lot of HTM professionals busy. One of those biomeds is James Jumper, an anesthesia field service biomedical technician with BSW’s Healthcare Technology Management department.
Jumper did not make a beeline to the HTM profession originally. He was one of those people who liked to get into the mechanics of things though.
“I pretty much stumbled upon the healthcare technology management profession after leaving the military. I was looking for my next step because I was never one of those people that, even as a child, just knew exactly what they wanted to be when they grew up,” he says.
“My parents, knowing that I liked taking things apart and had an aptitude for mechanics, suggested that I look into the program options at Texas State Technical College in Waco. I saw the biomedical equipment technology program on the list and scheduled a tour and information session and decided that it sounded very interesting,” Jumper says.
He received an associate’s degree in biomedical equipment technology from Texas State Technical College.
“The program gave us a lot of information and hands-on experience with a variety of equipment typically found in hospitals as well as basic electronics knowledge. The biggest surprise for me after graduating and entering the field was how to document everything. I understand that each health care system or vendor is different in the database they use though so this would be difficult to train on,” Jumper says.
His current specialty is with the GE Aisys and Aestiva anesthesia machines. He received training on both models from the manufacturer. He has also received vendor training from Draeger on Apollo anesthesia machines.
Prior to working on anesthesia machines, Jumper got his start as a BMET I, where he was primarily responsible for equipment in operating rooms and sterile processing areas.
“Today, I am an anesthesia field service technician, where my responsibilities are primarily anesthesia machines, anesthetic vaporizers and gas analyzers. As a field service technician, it is possible that I could end up at any campus in the Baylor Scott & White system on any given day,” he says.
Training and Maintaining
In terms of the day-to-day challenges of the job, Jumper cites clinical staff training and finding the availability to get into operating rooms to perform maintenance.
“There is so much turnover with the anesthesia technicians that it is sometimes difficult to keep up with proper training for the staff. It can also be difficult to quickly build relationships with the staff while being a field service technician since coverage at multiple campuses is required and, a lot of times, I am on-site outside of normal hours or on weekends,” he says.
He says that with room availability, most of the campuses run from around 7 a.m. to as late as 7 p.m.
“This can make trying to work a normal daytime schedule close to impossible when trying to get preventive maintenance done by a deadline,” Jumper says.
“To work around the operating room schedule, communication with schedulers and supervisors is very important in setting up a time to perform planned maintenance. Some campuses will also give us access to view their schedules so that we can tentatively plan based on that information. I still try to call and speak with someone before heading to a campus though, their schedule can change quickly most of the time,” Jumper adds.
He says that one of the projects that he and his fellow anesthesia field service technicians are working on is offering in-services to the on-site biomed technicians and, when possible, to the anesthesia technicians.
“Our hope is to make the technicians feel confident enough in replacing the user replaceable parts and doing user maintenance and troubleshooting that we can minimize the need to dispatch one of our field service technicians as frequently,” Jumper says.
Last year, Jumper received a “great catch award” for identifying a potentially hazardous situation and reporting it so that it could be rectified.
Away from work, Jumper enjoys spending time outdoors and working on things around the house. He and his wife have two golden retrievers to keep them busy.
“My wife and I enjoy kayaking, playing fetch with our dogs, home improvement projects and we are presently shopping for a classic Mustang,” he says.
Patients can rest assured that a well-trained HTM professional has their backs.
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