Last year a relative with congestive heart failure took the chance and joined a clinical study in an attempt to advance medical science and possibly his life. It didn’t work out as hoped. During the long period of what we hoped would be recovery I had a chance to talk to the BMET in charge of the equipment for the hospital. This was a relatively relatively large teaching hospital with approximately 560 bed and an AMA approved residency program. Curious about how leading edge equipment was managed I asked him about his qualifications. I was surprised to learn that the BMET in charge of the equipment was the BMET department head. My interest was piqued and I asked why he was performing the equipment checks on the device. His answer was that he didn’t have anyone on his staff that he felt was qualified. Introducing myself as the Program Director of a nationally offered BMET program I asked whether he thought a higher level of education such as a B.S. would be an advantage. He readily agreed.
This was only one interview out of a number which I had with industry experts that were attempting to manage the maintenance and installation of increasingly sophisticated medical equipment in an increasingly complex hospital environment. Over a three year period the general impression I came away with was that there was in fact a growing need for a higher level of education in this field.