I would like to continue discussion of educational resources that the HTM educational programs are desperately seeking. Right now, a hot topic seems to be the availability of HTM textbooks of all kinds—particularly at the technician level.
I agree with what Roger Bowles mentioned in his recent Future column entitled “Recommended Reading.” I too have seen many changes to the HTM field over the past 30 years. Programs at the college level “look” way different today than they did years ago. This “look” includes equipment in the laboratories, computer facilities that may not have been there 25 years ago and how classes are delivered and on and on.
One thing that hasn’t changed much, in my opinion, is the biomedical textbook. There isn’t much financial incentive for an author to write a textbook on biomedical systems. We have a few new textbooks on the market. For instance, recently released was Barb Christe’s second edition of the biomedical instrumentation textbook “Introduction to Biomedical Instrumentation: The Technology of Patient Care“ as well as Binseng Wang’s new book, “Clinical Engineering Financial Management and Benchmarking.” I’m sure that there are other textbooks, but these are two I am familiar with. It’s great that Barb and Binseng wrote these books, but ultimately they only cover a small part of our field and we need more.
Danielle McGeary, AAMI’s Vice President of Healthcare Technology Management, in early February posted a request in AAMI Educators AAMI Connect Group: Creation of a BMET Textbook. I wanted to mention this to help get the message out to a larger group which might find this interesting and may want to contribute.
Danielle posted the following:
“If AAMI developed a more BMET-focused textbook, would that be of interest to this group and would your programs use it? If AAMI did compile one, how many would you anticipate purchasing a year? Would any of you be interested in working on this project and potentially contributing to the book? Most of the feedback I received is that most HTM textbooks on the market are more focused around the clinical engineer and not so much the BMET. We also spoke of the issue around incorporating medical device specific IT/cybersecurity training into BMET educational programs since many of the courses offered at your institutions are not specific to health care.AAMI currently offers: AAMI’s Practicum for Healthcare Technology Management, which includes chapters on FMEA, CMMSs, imaging devices, DICOM, PACS. None of the responses I received actually listed anyone as using this as a resource. Is there a reason? Is it not relevant any longer? Does it need a refresh? Are you all just not aware this resource is out there?”
In my opinion, the best option would be to work together to collaborate on the textbook as she asks. A similar type of book published by AAMI is entitled: “A Practicum for Healthcare Technology Management.” This book has chapters written by different leaders in the HTM field who contributed based on their individual expertise. This not only produced great information from leaders in the particular specialty but also made the creation of the book a lot more manageable when spread over a large group of authors.
Another area that I would like to reach out to the HTM community about is what I’ll call “remote laboratory experiences.” There are lots of opportunities for “online” content for biomedical instrumentation classes, but I feel many are lacking what I consider viable laboratory experiences. I may be a little old school, but I believe the student should be required to “touch” the equipment in the laboratory. I think computer simulation has its place, but cannot completely replace actual hands-on laboratory experiences.
I have previously written about the possibility of a laboratory experience that takes place on a mentorship basis. I would also like to ask this group to help come up with an innovative way to remotely deliver laboratory experiences. I feel that in order to make HTM education adequately available to a more widespread group, a very good way to deliver labs remotely is key.
Speaking of real-world experience, I am also a strong advocate of the internship or cooperative education component of education. I feel that this should be required for a student to graduate from any program. I like to mention this whenever I have the opportunity to reach a diverse group of HTM professionals. I feel this is not only key to any program, but it is ultimately an area that requires all of us in HTM to work together. This includes anyone who may read this column or even this magazine. If you are in a position to hire these students, you will be afforded the opportunity to have a long-term interview of prospective employees as well as shape the HTM program in which the students are enrolled.
In conclusion, I would like to plant the notion of collaboration in your minds. This is how we can move forward in the HTM field.
Steven J. Yelton, P.E., CHTM; is a senior HTM engineer for The Christ Hospital Health Network in Cincinnati, Ohio and is a professor at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College where he teaches biomedical instrumentation courses. He is the chair-elect of AAMI’s board of directors, chair of the AAMI Foundation board of directors, past chair of AAMI’s Technology Management Council (TMC), chair of AAMI’s HTAC Committee and is a member of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), board of delegates. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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