By the title of this column, it might seem that a career change or residence change is on tap. Not so. However, with the weather being like it has been over the past two months here in Texas, the thought had crossed my mind. First, the record setting rains and storms in May. I don’t think I have ever spent so much time in the closet with a handheld weather radio and I’m starting to think a tornado shelter might be a wise investment. Then, just when the weather starts to break a bit, Tropical Storm Bill rushes up and dumps another 6 to 8 inches of rain. But all in all, I think we have been luckier than some. The roof is still intact and most of the trees are still standing.
I missed the AAMI conference this year for the first time in probably over 10 years. Budgets are getting tighter and changes are coming fast and furiously. Besides the weather in Denver, I’m sure it was a fantastic conference and I hope to attend another one in the near future. Thankfully, MD Expo is coming to Dallas next year. It will be held April 21-23 at the Fairmont Hotel.
No, the title for this column didn’t come from the weather or the changes occurring in our program. The title came from the incessant buzzing and beeping from the device strapped to my wrist. In the interest of my health, and at the insistence of my wife, I bought a Garmin VivoFit 2. It is an ingenious little thing that counts my steps, watches my sleep patterns, and probably a few other things that I haven’t figured out yet. From what I have read, I’m supposed to be taking at least 10,000 steps per day – something that undoubtedly was not a problem back when I worked as a BMET in a hospital. These days, apparently that is not as easy as I thought with meetings and staring at a computer screen for hours on end. The neat thing about this device is that when it senses that I have been inactive for a while, it beeps and vibrates prompting me to get up and move. I’m not sure I’m losing any weight, but I am taking a lot more steps! Not being a gym rat, I guess I need some prompting to take better care of my health.
It would be nice if someone would invent one of these things for our careers. If it sensed no growth or movement for a while, it would light up, start flashing and buzzing and tell us that we are inactive and need to do something before we become obsolete. I’ve been at Texas State Technical College for a long time and away from the day-to-day life of a biomed. Sometimes it is a struggle to keep up with all of the changes. It takes effort and I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t always apply as much effort as needed. I was reminded of that recently when talking with some former (and very successful) graduates about ultrasound. True, the equipment we use is typically older because it is donated, but sometimes older is too old and needs to be replaced as the technology is truly obsolete. We are working on that now and I’m soon to get updated with training courtesy of our friends at GMI.
I’m a firm believer that when it comes to careers, we are either growing or dying. I need to be learning something new every year and preferably more often than that. As a motorcycle enthusiast and instructor (part-time), I am painfully aware that skills get rusty, even after a couple of weeks of inactivity. Fortunately, in the motorcycle world, training classes of various skill levels is readily available and relatively inexpensive.
For BMETs, taking a formal training class can sometimes be cost prohibitive, especially when travel is involved. But there are a lot of resources available online and through publications. And even classes in somewhat related endeavors such as project management, IT, business, and others taken at a local community college can be reasonable, especially if your employer reimburses those expenses. No matter what class or type of training it is, it keeps your mind in that learning mode and not collecting dust. Darn, my wrist is vibrating again – time to get up and go for a walk. Till next time!
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