A U.S. national BMET Apprenticeship Program recently launched by AAMI has gained a new employer partner. TRIMEDX—a provider of clinical engineering, medical device cybersecurity, and clinical asset management solutions to healthcare systems—will be offering apprenticeship opportunities through the AAMI registered apprenticeship program (RAP) as soon as early 2022.

“At TRIMEDX, we pride ourselves on culture and training within our Associate Value Proposition,” says Kristi McDermott, president of clinical engineering. “By investing in talent development and creating partnerships to grow associates’ skills in the clinical engineering industry, this partnership provides both quality service to clients and increases associate competency and career pathways.”

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 hired by program partners in their area, who then provide them with training and paid work experience and cover expenses for the requisite educational courses.

With its corporate office based in Indianapolis, TRIMEDX partners with healthcare providers to optimize the management of their clinical assets at more than 4,500 locations across the U.S. and employs nearly 1,150 biomedical equipment technicians, or BMETs. 

TRIMEDX’s broad reach across the country is just one reason why Danielle McGeary, vice president of HTM at AAMI, is so thrilled to call them an employer partner for the fledgling BMET Apprenticeship Program. With the support of an industry leader like TRIMEDX, prospective BMETs will have more opportunities to get the hands-on experiences that are so necessary for this crucial field.

“An apprentice could be someone who’s ready for a career change, has an interest in the field but doesn’t have the means or life flexibility to go to college at this point in their life, or it could be someone just out of high school or in high school,” said McGeary. “This program is intended to bridge that gap to get them the training they need to be successful while concurrently helping to facilitate the strong HTM pipeline the field so desperately needs right now.”

She says employers who take part in the program benefit from having entry-level workers on their payroll they can train to their particular equipment and service specialties. “If an employer wants them to stay after the apprenticeship ends, they’ll already be up to speed—they won’t need retraining,” McGeary says.

According to Dawn Griffin, chief human resources and diversity officer at TRIMEDX, the company will initially bring on four apprentices during year one of the partnership.

“We are excited to participate in this program that aligns with our strategy to grow and develop talent,” says Griffin. “With client locations in 40 states across the country, including Washington, D.C. and Cayman Islands, TRIMEDX has the ability to provide optimal opportunity as an Employer Partner. We will be able to work with our clients to meet their needs as well as review prospective apprentices to find the best fit.”

An Essential Pipeline

By becoming an employer partner, TRIMEDX is acknowledging the necessity for a fast and effective career path for the next generation of healthcare technology management (HTM) professionals. 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.

Fortunately, the national BMET Apprenticeship Program is helping to address this by providing valuable training opportunities through industry leaders such as TRIMEDX with no cost to the apprentice. What’s more, the cost of supporting an apprentice may prove lower than employers expect.

Fluke Biomedical, for instance, is offering 22 hours of free training for apprentices, which counts towards the program’s “Medical Equipment Training from Industry Sources” curriculum. And the College of Biomedical Equipment Technology is offering apprentices exclusive access to their A&P and mathematics classes at a 20% discount for apprentice employers.

“Our Apprenticeship Program continues to grow with the support of these incredible organizations,” says McGeary. “I’m excited to see even more companies join TRIMEDX in our growing list of employer partners, paving the way for the next generation of exceptional BMETs.”