It’s not a new problem, and it certainly isn’t one that will go away by itself: The BMET profession won’t solve its shortage of recruits just by convincing a few good men and women to join their ranks now and then. While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, educators and managers are championing programs and practices designed to attract new candidates and keep experienced technicians in the fold.

 Gather ‘round the watercooler and raise the question of recruiting BMETs if you want a hot topic for discussion.

BMETs on the front line will tell you they’re working harder than ever: They’re doing the work of more than one person and need some relief!

Educators reveal numerous challenges in recruiting new students into their biomedical engineering programs, and the number of educational programs is dwindling to a precious few. Recruiters say there have been hiring freezes in many sectors where uncertainty about the future leads to caution in recruiting new hires. And then, of course, the general state of the economy affects every sector.

One thing’s for sure. Everyone involved is keenly aware this is a serious issue, and there are Herculean efforts afoot to define the problem and work toward finding solutions. Few would deny that if we don’t straighten out this BMET shortage, we’re in for catastrophic difficulties in healthcare.

So, what are the hot topics around the water cooler?

Belt Tightening 101
Certainly, the current global economic atmosphere affects the markets in general, but healthcare is going through its own upheaval. Hospitals merge and departments are shuffled. Independent service organizations (ISOs) morph into new alliances and contracts change. Major equipment manufacturers acquire smaller companies, and entire service departments shift in their areas of responsibility.

BMET recruiter Dick Berg, president and owner, Biomedical Register (San Diego) explains that many of the major imaging equipment vendors are not hiring either third party or in-house technicians.

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