Many Biomedical Equipment Technicians are nearing retirement and the industry is experiencing a shortage of new, incoming technicians. Traditionally, the career path for BMETs began by seeking a four year degree at college or university, but this route is now experiencing roadblocks due to universities terminating BMET programs due to budgetary constraints and/or lack of student interest.
With the clock ticking, a solution has been developed to benefit not only the facilities, but the students too.
Aiming to offset the high demand in the field and the declining BMET graduate rate by foregoing college altogether, a specialized apprenticeship has been developed by the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI). This new, contemporary apprenticeship program that has been approved by the U.S. Department of Labor (DoL) for prospective biomedical equipment technicians and focuses on getting fresh, new faces into HTM positions with on-the-job training and much more hands-on time, rather than classroom or curriculum learning.
The apprenticeship program poses a variety of substantial benefits for the incoming professionals, the biggest of which being avoiding copious amounts of student loan debt from undergraduate studies. Student loan debt is now the second-highest consumer debt category, with over 65% of graduating students acquiring debt, totaling to an outrageous $1.57 trillion in federal student loan debt. With the new program, technicians will be able to learn, train, and enter the job field with zero student debt.
Learning from highly experienced BMETs, the trainee would learn the policies/ safety procedures, equipment knowledge, and get experience with customer interactions. Completion of the apprenticeship will require a CABT certification from AAMI and IT Fundamentals certification in order to become a certified biomedical equipment technician.
The employer also has greater control for each trainee within the new program. Options to fast track individuals with partially completed training, or to cover expenses for training/certification from the DoL will allow employers to have greater control of the number of BMETs at their facility.
It’s safe to say, this program will initiate a large shift in the HTM/BMET industry and the targeted results are exciting to say the least.
About the Author
Hannah Keeling has a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing from Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, Colorado. She is the Marketing Assistant at AIV.