By Keri Forsythe-Stephens
As the parent of a preschooler, I constantly remind my daughter to “make good choices.” Although I know that the choices she makes at her age will probably range from “Should I hit my friend when I want his toy?” to “Should I eat my vegetables so I’ll get a cookie?,” I think it’s important that she learns the importance—and power—of choice at a young age.
Pat Lynch also discusses the power of choice in April’s The LynchPin column. His take on the subject? The sum of people’s decisions shapes the trajectory of their lives, especially their careers. “Throughout my life, I have developed the belief that a person is 99.9% responsible for [his or her] current position,” Lynch writes. “When an opportunity presents itself, you have to be ready to seize it.”
For HTM professionals, in particular, seizing an opportunity may mean obtaining professional certification, taking an online class, or attending a biomedical conference or webinar, Lynch writes. After all, he maintains, such actions go a long way in showing others—particularly management—that you’re willing to go above and beyond your job description.
Going above and beyond one’s job description is also something biomedical engineer Geoffrey Smith discusses in April’s Soapbox column. In his article, titled “In Defense of the HTM: Why We Matter,” Smith reveals how he once helped a scared, young boy before he underwent surgery. Rather than just focusing on the task at hand—maintaining the surgical devices—Smith actually showed the young patient how the equipment worked to assuage his fears.
To Smith, such an action isn’t necessarily atypical, however. HTMs routinely go the extra mile to keep hospitals running smoothly, he says, and are marked by their professional integrity. “We don’t ask for applause; we do [such tasks] because it’s our job,” Smith says. “After all, if we do our job, nurses and doctors can do theirs better.”
Even so, Smith acknowledges that some disconnect exists because what HTM professionals do (“HTMs can make or break your healthcare organization,” he asserts) and how much respect the field garners. That’s why he says the backing of a governing body, such as AAMI, will help others realize that HTMs are more than just “so-called repair techs.”
But rising above that stereotype is perhaps also a matter of choice. Like Pat Lynch says, HTM professionals can take tangible actions to enhance their professional development. And for those looking for specific ways to do so, 24×7 Magazine is hosting a series of webinars—the first of which is on April 25.
April’s webinar, which is sponsored by GE Healthcare, concerns managing risk in your service program. Click here to sign up. Believe me, it’s a choice you won’t regret.
Keri Forsythe-Stephens is chief editor of 24×7. Questions and comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.