How the shortage of biomedical technicians can affect hospitals
The looming shortage of biomedical technicians and engineers and the closure of their programs are causing concern for the profession, according to the Association for the Advancement of Medical Devices.
Although biomedical technicians and engineers do not interact with patients, they are directly related to patient safety. Their role as fixation equipment, ranging from ultrasound to CT and MRI equipment, impacts patients on a daily basis.
In this profession, many are aging out of work and retiring, but this problem is exacerbated by the fact that there are only about 60 biomedical technology programs left in the US. Over the past few years, 25 programs have been closed, leaving 17 states without such programs. program in general, Danielle McGuire, vice president of health technology management for AAMI, told an ABC News affiliate WPBN.
“As baby boomers continue to approach retirement age, we will begin to see an even greater talent gap in healthcare technology management,” said Jeremy Probst, president and CEO of Technical Prospects, a supplier of spare parts for Siemens imaging systems. Magazine 24×7 in 2018. “This means that those engineers who work in the state must be ‘jack of all trades’ able to service a wide range of equipment. In addition, imaging equipment continues to become more complex and difficult to maintain. Given the current situation, proper training of medical imaging engineers will become even more important.”
The field has struggled in recent years to attract young talent, resulting in the closure of some hospitals, and as such hospitals may face skills shortages as experienced biomedical technicians retire, a report from medical device maker Elite Biomedical Solutions explains. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that job openings in this field will grow by 10 percent by 2031, but notes: “Many of these job openings are expected to be related to the need to replace workers who are changing jobs or leaving the workforce, such as resign.”
Joe Dieter, Associate Professor in the Biomedical Engineering Technology Program at Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City, Michigan, said: WPBN he worries that ignorance of the profession is one reason it doesn’t attract as many new talent.
“Lack of knowledge that we even exist” WPBN quoted his words. He also told the publication that college-age adults are typically forced to complete four-year degrees, but says there’s really no need to go into the field.
Elite Biomedical Solutions lists four main ways hospitals can try to curb the shortage of biomedical technicians:
- Train existing staff on skill sets where there may be a gap through professional development and certification programs.
- Outsource knowledge-intensive repairs and streamline workflows to maximize the availability of experienced technicians to service your equipment.
- Track the time biomedical professionals spend on “maintenance, customer service, staff training, administration, and inventory management” to better understand what is needed to ensure efficient operation.
- Prioritize scheduled maintenance.
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