More than a year ago, Scott Percy, the director of the Biomedical Technology Program at Tucson Brown Mackie College, encouraged his students to become members of AAMI and start making connections with other professionals in our chosen field of study. He explained the benefits included being able to post your resume, participate in blogs, contact resources for the field, and expand our horizons about the field. Joining AAMI as a student member was a no-brainer. Dr. Percy also made available to students his old copies of AAMI News, BI&T, and Horizons. Although some of the articles seem to be over my head, the journal articles are the part of my AAMI membership I have appreciated and learned the most from thus far. These valuable subscriptions have made me aware of many of the problems, solutions, and complexities that our industry faces, helping me to prepare for entering the work force. When the AAMI 2013 Conference dates and location were published, it seemed too good an opportunity for me to pass up; I knew I would find a way to attend.
As a student on a fixed budget, I first tackled the challenge of how to manage and afford attending the conference. With the chaos of balancing work, school, volunteer duties, and other commitments, it first appeared that not many other students would attend. But as the conference dates approached, more and more interest among my classmates developed, turning the planning into a frenzy of networking for rides and couches to sleep on. It became a group effort, spearheaded by our enthusiastic director, and resulted in a large percent of students from our campus embarking on a road trip to the conference. Though expectations vary, all the attending students, (and some who could not attend), realize that the AAMI conference offers a number of benefits.
For one thing, there is the Career Center, which offers job-hunting resources and the chance to meet with prospective employers. There is also the opportunity to network with other HTM professionals, getting their advice and counsel in a professional environment. Most of us realize that our current education is only the beginning, with much more to learn in order to become the best BMETs we can be. While I am planning to attend the BMET Evaluation and Review session, there are other sessions I am eager to attend. I expect that the educational sessions will give me a better grasp of this field and help me, and my future employer, in being a more competent, helpful, and aware member of a healthcare technology management team. I am looking forward to attending sessions on patient safety, CE-IT connectivity, and wireless challenges. All of the conference experiences waiting for me in Long Beach will help me in my future career, and give me a greater awareness of the profession and its’ professionals. It has been hectic at times and took a lot of planning, but I am very excited and looking forward to this conference.
George Carlisle is a biomedical equipment technology student at Brown Mackie College in Tucson, AZ.