Julie Kirst, Editor

In July, the online listserv Biomedtalk echoed with responses to an e-mail written by someone interested in the field. His questions ranged from asking for feedback on educational institutions and resources for study to wondering what a typical day was like, how much time was spent performing tasks, and how much demand actually exists for entry-level technicians today.

Responses were varied—some replies were passionate statements, others practical and helpful. Some addressed the specifics and others commented on the profession in general. One response, submitted by Dustin Telford, CBET, CRES, CLES, and META board member, actually addressed a topic we cover this month in the article “Striving for Standardization.”

It was interesting reading, and I took it as a good omen for 24×7, since we were about to post our Annual Compensation Survey. All in all, I am encouraged by the commitment that members of this profession have to their field, and their willingness to network and help each other. To that end, I urge everyone—clinical engineers; biomedical equipment technicians; biomeds specializing in IT, imaging, and other areas; and managers—to take our online survey. It takes only a few minutes to complete. Your responses are valuable to the industry and provide a guideline that will help others contemplating certification, a move, or other changes.

In the spirit of networking, growth, and addressing topics driving the industry, we have changed the title of our Tech Talk column. This column tackles the sometimes-rocky convergence of clinical and biomedical engineering with the IT world, so I asked for suggestions from readers for a title that would more accurately represent the column. One suggestion said it all. John Dinsmore, GS10, DAC, biomedical equipment maintenance branch, Womack Army Medical Center, Ft Bragg, NC, said, “I think that Networking would be the ideal name for the column. After all, isn’t that what we are attempting to do? As the duties of the BMET and the IT tech start to overlap with the computerization and interfacing of medical equipment to the hospital’s internet backbone through DICOM, PACS, and DINPACS systems, a gray area of who’s responsible for what is rapidly growing. This overlapping is causing biomed and IT departments to work more closely together, thus they are forced to ‘network’ with each other.”

Perfectly stated, as networking in this case involves people learning to work together and connectivity among equipment. My thanks to John for taking the time to write and for the suggestion, which we implement this month by changing the column’s name to Networking.

Looking forward to hearing from you in our survey, online now. The results will be tabulated and published in the December 2007 issue of 24×7. I thank you in advance for your participation.

Julie Kirst