Everything is a choice. You can choose to become certified, seek another degree, help another technician, pick up a piece of paper as you walk by, and respond to an online question from another biomed. Other choices include volunteering to lead a project, attending a Webinar, offering a word of encouragement to someone who needs it, cleaning your workspace, and documenting 100% of your work.

You can also choose to write legibly, answer the telephone in a pleasant manner, actively listen to others, respond to e-mails promptly, follow instructions, empathize with someone, and help a coworker. Even more choices you can make? Staying late to complete a task, taking an extra shift to help out a coworker, volunteering at a local charity, taking an online class, and dressing in something other than scrubs.

Patrick Lynch

Patrick Lynch

And, finally, here are other choices that could affect your career: attending a biomedical meeting, such as AAMI, or “Career Day,” leading a discussion, mentoring a junior worker, learning about IT and health IT, volunteering to become the expert on a new system, and cleaning up the shop.

Stopping the Blame Game

My wife and I are raising our two granddaughters, who are 6 and 8. One of our constant frustrations with them is that they are always blaming their situations on others. They get in trouble at school. The don’t do well on a test. They don’t have enough time to play. And so on.

I’ve heard this from so many adults as well. It seems as if people always find a way to push the blame for the negative things that happen to them onto others. “Not enough time.” “Too high expectations.” “Not understanding.”

Throughout my life, I have developed the belief that a person is 99.9% responsible for their current position. It all comes back to this philosophy that I heard and took to heart many years ago: Luck equals opportunity plus preparation. When an opportunity presents itself, you have to be ready to seize it. After all, it is far too late to start preparing when the new job or impending promotion is upon you. You must be prepared before it arrives.

Taking this concept one step further, let’s look at BMET certification. Only a small fraction of BMETs have taken the time, trouble, and expense to achieve the CBET credential. “Why?” I have asked hundreds of people. The overwhelming answer? “My employer won’t pay me more money for it, so why should I bother?”

I don’t even respond anymore. This is entirely the wrong attitude. The reason for certification—aside from the personal pride of achievement—is to be prepared when an opportunity for advancement comes along. Without certification, you look like everybody else on paper. But with letters following your name (along with exhibiting a strong work history), you stand out from the crowd.

The same goes for most of the activities listed above. Actions such as attending webinars, being active in your local association, presenting lectures, and taking on projects outside of your job description show that you are willing to go above and beyond the minimum job requirements.

Think about it: No administrator wants an employee who restricts himself or herself to only their job description. And any BMET who ever every tells me that they won’t do something because “It’s not their job” won’t be in the running for any advancement opportunities. In fact, I would begin looking for reasons to remove them from my department.

Again, everything we do in life is a choice. By choosing to do something or not, you accept the consequences of your actions. It has been said that if you want to be like someone, you should find out what he or she did to get to their current position and do the same things. Many of the successful people in HTM did the actions discussed above. I’m just saying.

So when you’re passed over for a choice assignment, promotion, or another good opportunity, look closely at the choices you have made. Chances are, you’re totally responsible for your own situation—whether positive or negative.