A U.S-based BMET Apprenticeship Program recently launched by the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) has gained new support from Everett, Wash.-based Fluke Biomedical. A manufacturer of biomedical test equipment and training software, Fluke is offering free Advanced Training Courses to apprentices.

The courses add up to an estimated 22 hours of free training and count toward the “Medical Equipment Training from Industry Sources” requirement in the Related Instruction section of the new U.S. national apprenticeship program’s curriculum.

“Year one requires 30 hours of medical equipment training from industry sources, so the 22 hours of content will complete a majority of the requirement at no cost to organizations participating in the BMET Apprenticeship Program,” says Danielle McGeary, vice president of HTM at AAMI. “The content contains a lot of training around their biomed test equipment, which is perfect for the apprentices who are brand new to the field and need to learn about test equipment and electrical safety.”

“AAMI wanted to provide some quality free training options as we know budgets are tight for everyone right now,” McGeary adds. “We are very appreciative of Fluke’s support.”

The backbone of hospitals and even laboratories, BMETs routinely service the medical devices that are needed to monitor patient health or record important data. Unfortunately, AAMI estimates that nearly half of the current healthcare technology management (HTM) workforce is over the age of 50. As more BMETs retire and the number of college programs to train new HTM professionals dwindles, healthcare systems will find it increasingly difficult to fill these crucial positions.

HTM professionals, such as BMETs, “empower our everyday heroes to focus only on protecting lives,” says Michael Raiche, senior portfolio manager for Fluke Biomedical. “When I initially learned about the BMET Apprenticeship Program, I thought ‘what a great initiative!’ I immediately reached out to AAMI to see how Fluke Biomedical could help.”

“It turns out the program was the perfect application for our immense library of educational content,” Raiche adds. “What better way to influence the test and measurement market than to educate the next generation? It’s important that we all understand the clinical applications of medical devices, the risks if they fail, how to test them, and then share industry best practices.”

The BMET Apprenticeship Program guides employer partners in training the next generation of HTM professionals. And the cost of supporting an apprentice may prove lower than employers expect! In addition to Fluke Biomedical’s support, AAMI has earned the support of Nuvolo and the College of Biomedical Equipment Technology.

Through the Nuvolo Apprenticeship Sponsorship Program, the first seven health systems or standalone hospitals to enroll in AAMI’s BMET Apprenticeship Program by Dec. 1, 2021, will be automatically eligible to receive up to $725 per apprentice for up to two apprentices. Additional program details can be found here.

Additionally, the College of Biomedical Equipment Technology is offering apprentices exclusive access to their A&P and mathematics classes at a 20% discount for organizations taking on AAMI BMET apprentices. “Our apprenticeship program continues to grow with the support of these incredible organizations,” says McGeary. “I’m excited to see even more companies join our growing list of employer partners paving the way for the next generation of exceptional BMETs.”