J. Scot Mackeil, a CBET in Plymouth Mass, recently sparked some conversation on the Biomedtalk listserv regarding credentials for BMETs. He acknowledged right off the bat it can be a sore subject but he has been working on an article on this topic and said he has been struggling with seeing the other side of this coin—what do we gain by being uncertified and unregulated?
We invite your comments—what do you think?
Scot said: “Fellow biomeds, consider this, aircraft and medical equipment are devices on which peoples’ lives depend. In some cases, hundreds of lives can depend on a single piece of hardware. In order to repair and sign off on the repair of an aircraft or sign off on an annual inspection, one must be must be a certified airframe and power plant mechanic. The qualification process for an A+P makes the CBET or CCE look like 5th grade. These professionals, their training, support, and qualifications are strictly regulated by the FAA. No pilot would ever think of taking a jet off the flight line with an expired inspection sticker on it or not complying exactly with maintenance and repair reporting protocols. Why is the manner in which medical equipment maintenance in health care implemented and practiced, almost completely the reverse of the airline industry?”
Scot continues: “Given the nature of what we (biomeds) do, why shouldn’t we have similar standards? I personally think that if you perform inspections of medical equipment and sign inspection stickers, or perform work on a device and then sign a work order which authorizes that device’s return to patient care service, you SHOULD be at minimum, a CBET. I come from an airline family, which includes two airline captains, one of whom is also a certified A+P. I also have a brother who is ASE certified in automotive repair. So this position comes naturally to me and seems like pure common sense.
“What does not make sense to me is why this isn’t the case. Why does the FDA, the JC, the DPH, or any other agency that supposedly regulates or inspects our industry pay so little attention to “our “ industry? While the next statement may not apply to every biomed shop, I can certainly say I know there are some it applies to.
If your airline of choice used the same maintenance management process for their jets as your hospital used for medical equipment, would you fly with them?”
We invite you to comment on this blog and share your ideas.