A frequent complaint or observation I have heard from readers is that administrators and others in the hospital system do not really know who BMETs and clinical engineers are, and they don’t properly recognize the importance of your work.

In reviewing the results of a poll we recently conducted on our Web site (see Weekly Poll, www.24x7mag.com), the majority of you indicated that you have seen your job responsibilities change greatly as your department’s duties continue to cross over into the IT side. As your workload and responsibilities increase or shift due to budget cuts and other factors, you may think you are more lost in the shuffle than ever.

We have published a number of articles lately that focus on creating awareness of your department (see Talking Money by Robert M. Dondelinger, CBET-E, MS, March 2006), and we have written about people, such as the biomeds in our April 2006 cover story, who shared their interactive method that keeps them on the radar.

During my research for an upcoming article for 24×7, I discovered another way that you can heighten the visibility of your profession, gain appreciation for your expertise, and experience satisfaction for your critical contributions to health care: Join a medical mission.

Working in tandem with physicians and nurses, biomeds are an integral part of the success of these missions. In less than ideal circumstances, where electricity may be inconsistent if even available, biomeds participate in missions to install and repair equipment, and even teach those who live in other countries how to fix the equipment they have. Dennis McCutcheon, director of MedEquip Missions in Asheville, NC, a company that sends biomeds overseas, notes that those who join these trips are definitely appreciated. He says that the people you are helping not only know you, but they will track you down when they need something! No anonymity here.

Closer to home, another way to get the word out about the important work you perform could be by sharing information with children, inspiring future biomeds by speaking at career days at schools. Volunteering your repair skills with those less fortunate may also be an option. 

Sometimes satisfaction from our work can come from the most unexpected places, and having a closer interaction, such as participating in a medical mission, where you immediately experience the difference you have made in someone’s life, could be just the fix.