This is the third of a series of four key department goals that I have been outlining in a series of weekly blogs.
One of Steve Job’s famous sayings was “Think different” and we need more people in our profession who can do that. We need people who can think way outside of the norm and stretch the boundaries of their departments. Too many departments seem to be complacent and unwilling to develop a broader range of services. They feel that satisfying Joint Commission requirements, serving on EOC committees or responding rapidly to service requests makes them a great department. The reality is, however, that you are only doing what everyone else does. Many departments fall into the trap of measuring their success by counting the number of pieces of equipment in their inventory or identifying the range of departments that they service. Great departments are unwilling to follow the herd. They take off the blinders, and find creative ways to manage and to offer new services. Those shining examples stretch their boundaries and do things that no one else does, or as Steve Jobs says, they “Think different”.
People in our profession have a unique set of skills, we not only understand the complexity of technology, but we also understand its application in a clinical setting. Because we know both the range and the limits of each medical device, we are in an excellent position to find technological solutions to assist physicians, nurses and other caregivers in the way they deliver healthcare. We can only do this if we are willing to expand the range of our services and stop defining ourselves only as persons responsible for to the repair and testing of medical devices. Some departments have done this by opening innovation centers where they design devices and assist physicians and nurses with their ideas for improving healthcare delivery. Others have safety programs for reducing IV extravasations or new methods for determining which medical devices are best for your hospital. The opportunities for people like us with training in technology are unlimited; all we have to do is get creative and take the first step.
In addition to departments that are willing to take chances and try new things, we need new leaders. We need people who are willing to get more involved with their local and national biomedical societies. You can contribute by making certain that all of your department members become active and attend meetings where they will learn more about medical devices and will network with others in the profession. All department members should be encouraged to serve on biomedical society committees or hold office. Beyond contributing to your profession, by serving in office, you will learn valuable leadership and speaking skills
Professional growth is about give and take; we learn from others and in turn, we give back to others. Each of us has a professional obligation to give something back. We can give back by holding office in a biomedical society or offering to hold meetings or we also can write for the many publications that members of our profession read. One of the best ways to give back is to develop your speaking skills and offer to teach others at your local or statewide biomedical meetings. The key is to “Think different” and find ways to grow.
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