A team player with an unconventional hobby
By Chaunie Brusie
Kamlesh “DJ” Patel, BMET III, is an HTM professional with a secret on the side. Employed by Browns Mills, N.J.-based Deborah Heart and Lung Center for the past seven years, Patel is certified to work on anesthesia machines; Philips, Mindray, and Siemens ultrasound devices; Maquet ventilators; Nihon Kohden monitors; and EKG machines; among others.
But working with medical equipment isn’t Patel’s only skill—the talented team player is also a professional D.J. on the side. Patel spoke with 24×7 Magazine to talk about his career, both in serving patients and spinning records.
Like many in the biomedical field, Patel displayed an early aptitude for working with his hands. He tells 24×7that even as a young child, he enjoyed computers, taking electronics apart, and troubleshooting problems. He quickly became the go-to guy in the family for help with any electronic issues.
All of that early help for his family spurred an interest in taking his “help” to the next level. “I decided, ‘Why not do something to help others in the world that involves computers, devices, and patients?’” Patel explains. “By the time I came to college, I saw biomedical engineering as a profession. That’s where everything started from.”
Patel followed his passion to DeVry University, where he earned his biomedical engineering degree. After college, he completed a year of volunteer work at N.J.-based Somerset Medical Center to gain more knowledge about the field and attain hands-on experience.
Today, Patel prides himself on staying educated about the latest technological developments in his field. He also holds a sanguine view regarding the challenges he encounters in his everyday work: Rather than considering them a hinderance, he sees them as opportunities to learn.
“It is only a challenge when you don’t want to do something about it,” Patel says. “When complicated challenges come up, it’s a learning curve; it will make you think more, and do more research to finish that challenge. When taking a new project, not knowing anything in the beginning or how to start is the most challenging part, but when you do your research and think outside the box, the challenge doesn’t seem complicated anymore.”
Patel’s “can-do” attitude has helped him handle many situations on the job, including identifying a software issue for an ultrasound company, who took some convincing before they were finally able to find the issue themselves and fix it in their next patch release. Patel also discovered a system error for an infusion pump a few years ago, which culminated in a Class 1 recall.
And although some might deem those efforts heroic, Patel simply sees them as part of his job protecting the patients who matter most. “The most rewarding thing about my job is patient safety,” he adds. “It’s a blessing to be part of a team where [my actions directly impact patient care].”
A True ‘Star’
Patel may feel blessed to work with his team and help patients every day on the job, but he’s also blessing the ears of many people on the weekends, when he works his second job as a professional D.J.
Patel is so good at his job deejaying, in fact, that he is even known to his hospital coworkers as “DJ.” He explains that some people at work found it hard to pronounce his real name and when word got out that he was a D.J. on the side, well, “next thing you know the whole hospital calls me DJ,” he says, laughing. “Deejaying is my passion,” he adds. “I don’t think I can ever let go of music—it’s my stress reliever.”
One can imagine that Patel, or “DJ,” spins his records with the same level of precision that he maintains the medical equipment at Deborah Heart and Lung Center. After all, he says, it all comes back to providing stellar patient care. Others, it seem, have taken notice: Each year for the past three years, Patel has been nominated for his hospital’s “Star of the Month” award.
“Being able to help others is my inspiration,” Patel says. “If I am a patient or any of my family members is a patient, I would want to get treated and use safe working equipment on me or them. So, I always think of that point of view: That patient is part of someone’s family and should be treated with the best care [possible]. I believe that if you are going to do something, do it from your heart or else don’t do it at all. That is my motivation.”
For the Team
Patel, who was nominated as a “Hero of HTM” by a coworker, is known for his tremendous work drive and willingness to always help out his team. In his mind, being a “hero” comes down to one simple word: teamwork.
“Helping others finish the work faster will make the work flow better and faster so we can get the equipment back on the floors,” he says. “By going the extra mile, you are bringing a sense of purposefulness to your working life. It’s also about customer satisfaction; going that extra mile will help develop a reputation for reliability with customers. I like to help build a stronger workforce.”
When he’s not busy building that stronger workforce or helping out his coworkers, Patel enjoys watching movies; spending time with family, including his wife, Shraddha, who works in microbiology; listening to music (of course); meditating; and traveling.
On the career front, Patel also has big plans for himself and hopes to soon move into a management role. In the meantime, however, he will continue to hone the skills that he believes make anyone a hero in HTM: Being willing to help others, share knowledge, and display an eagerness to learn—and, above else, provide stellar care for patients and customers. After all, he says, “Being a positive influence and making a difference is what I love doing the most.”
Chaunie Brusie is associate editor of 24×7 Magazine. Questions and comments can be directed to [email protected].