What does certification mean? It means you have a pretty piece of paper to hang on the wall, unless that paper was issued by a group that people know and respect. Here’s a look at some of the many certifications being sold to healthcare technology servicers. Which are more valuable than the $1.98 drug store frame, and which certifications are about to go out of business?

f01a.jpg (9776 bytes)It’s not unusual for a professional certifications — a document that says a person can perform a job, at least on paper — to be required for work. Teachers hold state certifications in order to teach in public schools. Lawyers must pass the bar exam. Accountants survive a rigorous process to become Certified Public Accountants. Nurses, medical technologists, phlebotomists and others working in healthcare must hold appropriate certifications — except BMETs.

People servicing medical equipment have never been required to hold a general certification in order to work, nor is there likely to be such a requirement in the near future. As Chris Dean, CBET, Anesthesia Modality Leader at GE Clinical Services Inc., said in a recent BiomedTalk-l listserver discussion, “It still baffles me that my barber must have a license to cut my hair but biomed people may be employed … without certifications.”

Furthermore, most biomed employers do not require certification as a condition of hiring, and very few factor certification into pay scales.

On the other hand, vendor-specific certifications are gaining ground, particularly in the computer world, where technicians know they will be paid for getting networking papers.

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