A U.S. national BMET Apprenticeship Program recently launched by the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) has gained valuable new support through the College of Biomedical Equipment Technology, educators say. The online college, which offers biomedical equipment technician (BMET) and healthcare technology management (HTM) training at the certificate and associates degree levels, is offering all participants in the Apprenticeship Program access to anatomy and physiology (A&P) and mathematics courses at a reduced rate.
“Typically, only students enrolled in their degree program can take those classes, but they are opening them up to any AAMI BMET Apprentices,” according to Danielle McGeary, vice president of HTM, AAMI.
AAMI’s BMET Apprenticeship Program, recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor, combines traditional education with up to 6,000 hours of on-the-job learning. Prospective BMETs are matched with program partners in their area, who provide them with training and paid work experience, and cover expenses for the requisite educational courses.
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 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.
Sharing AAMI’s commitment to educating the next generation of HTM professionals, the College of Biomedical Equipment Technology is offering A&P and mathematics classes at a 20% discount for organizations taking on AAMI BMET apprentices.
“Our team’s reaction to AAMI’s BMET apprenticeship initiative was overwhelmingly positive,” says Richard L. “Monty” Gonzales, EdD, president of the College of Biomedical Equipment Technology. “This may seem counterintuitive coming from an educational institution, but the truth is apprenticeships have a well-deserved and necessary place in the United States. Apprenticeships offer a tremendous opportunity to form lasting educational and professional relationships among industry partners, the workforce, and educational institutions such as ours.”
He adds, “We view the Apprenticeship Program as a unique opportunity to bridge a critically important gap in education and serve a segment of the workforce that might otherwise struggle to gain entry into an incredible career field.”
According to McGeary, “Since the College of Biomedical Equipment Technology’s courses are entirely online, its support solves three potential problems our Apprenticeship Program’s partners may face.”
- Employer partners might not already have a relationship with a local community college for providing classroom learning.
- Employers/Apprentices located in rural areas of the country are sometimes hours from a physical college, making it hard for apprentices to access the necessary classes.
- Not everyone can attend face-to-face school at night after working a 40-hourweek, due to other commitments.
“With this new option, apprentices can do it all online at their own pace,” says McGeary, who serves on the college’s advisory board. “I’m thrilled to see our Apprenticeship Program continue to grow and I hope that even more companies become inspired by the example of the College of Biomedical Equipment Technology and our growing list of employer partners.”
More information on how to become a BMET Apprenticeship partner can be found at https://www.aami.org/training/bmet-apprenticeship.