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Have you hugged your biomed lately?

Have you hugged your Biomed lately? If not, you may want to consider it.

I know it sounds ridiculous at first, hugging your biomedical technician? However, I think you will agree that after contemplating the value of a good biomed, you will agree that they get little credit for their role in our complicated medical industry. Don’t get me wrong, it is perfectly understandable that patients and professionals are more likely to give valuable kudos to the medical infantry first. You know, the ones who are soldiering in the battlefields, amongst the sick and afflicted. Of course, there is no doubt that we should thank them for what they do. However, it has been suggested that we can also take a minute to throw out some medals of appreciation to our medical tank and artillery operators in the Biomedical Engineering department too. I’m referring to the medical mechanics who keep the battleground machinery from stalling in the heat of operation. After all, without our robust machinery, we can do far less to improve and save the lives of patients.

Medical environments are intense and when patients’ lives depend on equipment performance, there is no room for error. Biomedical technicians must be able to quickly apply problem-solving skills while working under pressure—sometimes with patients still attached to machines. Without a good biomed to protect us from machine failure, we are all vulnerable to the same downfalls as jumping from a plane without a parachute. They save us money too. Without their ability to repair and replace, we would have a higher turnover of equipment- meaning less money flows to other areas and we don’t want that.

 So what makes a good biomed anyway? Do we even know what they do all day?

It may surprise many people that on a typical workday, a BMET biomedical technician’s tasks can include:

• reprogramming equipment due to operator error or training professionals on how to properly use equipment.
• repairing malfunctioned equipment by fixing or replacing broken parts
• performing preventative maintenance (PMs) on equipment in order to keep it in working order
• testing and calibrating to ensure optimal performance.
• reading OEM manuals and attending AAMI training seminars to stay up on current protocols.

Similar to a number of other health care positions, biomedical work can be a 24/7 job.  Many people are surprised to learn that BMET technicians take call and are often times required to work shifts during weekends and holidays.

Ever wonder why it’s so difficult to find a good medical repair man?

Due to higher demand for medical services and greater complexity of equipment, highly qualified Biomed Engineers, CBETs and BMETs are more difficult to find. As more and more pieces of equipment get recycled, these technicians have become experts on dated, as well as, new equipment through on the job experience, industry seminars, manufacturer training classes, certification exams, and self-study. Also, since many new medical devices integrate with computer components and software, these technicians must also stay current with computer technology. In short, if you have found a good biomed, keep them happy because they keep us out of trouble. Think about that for a minute. When machinery isn’t operating properly, there is down time or worse, the testing results are not accurate which can lead to a misdiagnoses or confusion amongst caregivers. Experienced Biomedical equipment mechanics can resolve problems without limiting themselves to one plan. These professionals make use of any and all weapons that are at their disposal, relentlessly testing the effectiveness of every approach, until they identify the problem.

“They are exactly who you want by your side on the battlefield.”

So, if it’s been a while since you have acknowledged your biomed’s work, aka automated artistry, you may want to take a minute to drop them a thank you note. I accept that you may not feel comfortable going in for a hug or engaging in a jumping chest bump while passing in the hallway, they usually don’t want us in their personal space anyway. However, an impromptu high-five or a sticky note of gratitude on your next work order sent to the Bio-Med Engineering department may be way overdue. Take my advice, an overworked Biomed will be proud to receive your recognition. They will feel appreciated and you never know, with a few extra smiley faces or an occasional A++ on their reports, you may get your equipment back sooner than expected. Now, go thank your biomeds, they deserve it!