Mayra Becerra wants to inspire women to join this “life-saving” career field.
An interesting cultural change occurred during the past decade that has become an accepted component of everyday life for millions.
The Internet brought about many new platforms for sharing information; some of which provide entertainment and another segment that provides value as a source for learning and education.
YouTube is one of the primary platforms for providing video content, offering millions of videos that are instructional alongside millions more that are purely meant to entertain.
The growth of this platform for delivering information and entertainment has spawned an entire generation of content creators. For some, this is a pastime or hobby that will result in periodic videos. For others, it is a primary vocation that provides a full-time income and requires many hours of video production.
In addition to YouTube, Instagram and TikTok are social media outlets that reach enormous audiences, offering the ability to post either still images or videos or both.TikTok gets nearly 100 million monthly active users in the U.S. alone and appeals to a younger demographic. Instagram, which started in 2010, has 1 billion active users. That means that one in four of the world’s Internet users will make use of the Instagram app each month.
The decision to start a YouTube channel includes the purchase of some equipment along with learning the ropes. Obtaining viewers, and to be included on YouTube’s recommended video list, is competitive. Video production has to be of high quality and the content has to be perceived as beneficial to the viewer.
Biomeds can expand their knowledge through participation in webinars as well as training through conferences and local biomed associations. For many biomeds, the experience of more veteran colleagues is also a source of information.
Social media video platforms are particularly useful as a medium for rookie biomeds to ramp up their knowledge or get some specific insights on a particular piece of equipment.
That was the realization of biomed Mayra Becerra, CBET, who started her YouTube channel more than two years ago.
Becerra is a Biomedical Equipment Technician II at Memorial Hospital West in Pembroke Pines, Florida.
With a passion for both cycling and running, Becerra found a rewarding combination – duathlons!
She saw the need to provide an additional avenue for newer biomeds to pick up some tips through the use of YouTube and she created ‘TheBioMedGirl’ channel.
“I started ‘TheBioMedGirl’ YouTube channel because I love what I do and wanted to provide helpful content to others in the field. However, my principal goal was to inspire a new generation of biomeds, and even more specifically; women,” Becerra says.
Becerra created her first video in response to an HTM contest that was asking for video submissions.
“I had some knowledge of creating videos personally, but of course I had, and still have, a lot to learn,” she says.
“Anytime I came across a problem that I couldn’t solve or that I couldn’t learn from a service manual, I did what everyone growing up as a millennial did; I turned to the Internet to do my research. I often found gaps in the availability of useful content; therefore, I wanted to share the work that I do in a meaningful way with an audience just like me. Where do many of us turn for information in today’s world? The Internet and social media channels,” Becerra adds.
The BioMedGirl YouTube channel has addressed topics such as “Olympus printer OEP-4 – Biomedical Engineering,” “Calibrating ETC02 for Philips Monitor – M3015A” and “Servo-i Touchscreen Not Working,” just to name a few. There is also a very creative video for “Health Care Technology Management Week.”
Many of the videos make good use of time-lapse photography.
“I had seen it done before and thought it would work well for this type of content as well as being a good fit for my target audience,” Becerra says.
Becerra recognized that the biomed field has to replenish its ranks and bring in new HTM professionals who will not have the same level of experience as those who are retiring. Her approach has been to take this education to the platforms that are most familiar to the younger demographics who make up the new HTM rookies.
“There are so many amazing biomedical engineers that have been in the field for so long, and they are always passing along useful information to me. I wanted to continue offering insight to others coming into the field as well, so putting out video content I felt was the right medium to meet millennials and Gen Z where they are. I believe Instagram and TikTok are good platforms to get this audience; this is why I have the @TheBiomedGirl account on both platforms, as well,” Becerra says.
The social media channels serve a dual purpose for Becerra.
“I see how this field, like many engineering fields, has traditionally been male-dominated. So, I wanted to show other women that this field exists and if, I’m lucky, inspire more women to join a field where being an engineer gets to make a difference in saving people’s lives in hospitals around the world every day,” Becerra says.
She says that she tries to post content whenever she can.
“I plan to post more when I finish school in the next few semesters. Currently, I work full-time at the hospital; even though I have completed a degree as a biomedical engineer and obtained my CBET, I am a few classes away from my next goal of earning a degree in technology management. Also, I am the chair of SFAMI (South Florida Biomedical Association). Plus, I like running, so I do races and sometimes duathlons. With all of this, I keep myself very busy. As I wrap up school, I do plan on ‘shifting gears’ towards adding more content and maybe even partnering with other professionals and industry leaders to provide more useful content for the next generation of biomeds,” Becerra says
Becerra has had other achievements beyond her video production efforts. She earned her CBET certification in 2019. Her work with the SFAMI has run parallel with her work towards her next degree from Broward College.
“My goal is to do what I love and to be a great leader. Right now, my leadership is shown through my actions, my work, my ethics and my perpetually positive attitude as this is something we are all in control of – no degree required. I do hope that in time, I can combine this with the degree in technology management to grow into leadership positions, so I can scale my ability to make an impact on as broad an audience as possible,” Becerra says.
In addition to her HTM-related work and pasttime, she also finds time for cycling and running and values fitness.
“I started cycling with a group from work and did several races with them, and even my sister! My longest rides have been as much as 50 miles. Then, I got into the running and have competed in 5ks, 10ks and half marathons,” Becerra says.
She says that she eventually combined these two activities and has completed duathlons, taking first and second place in many of them.
“This has definitely been a proud accomplishment of mine and really got me to understand the value of fitness and how it carries over into so much of what we do. When I’m busy and don’t have the time to exercise, I definitely feel a lull in my energy and my plan is to always incorporate exercise into my life,” Becerra adds.
All of these accomplishments have been achieved while speaking English as a second language. Becerra arrived in south Florida from Columbia nine years ago. She learned English after settling in Florida.
As the HTM field works tirelessly to find and recruit new talent, the lack of real-life experience may be offset by resources like the ones that Becerra has created. The “TheBioMedGirl” channel should be added to every biomeds’ favorites or bookmarks, so that every new biomed is aware of these information sources.
In the meantime, this motivated biomed has much to offer the HTM field.
Visit Mayra’s YouTube channel at TheBioMedGirl.
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