Julie Kirst, Editor

Has your work environment changed much since last year? Did your department offer raises or fill empty slots? Are you wondering what it is like for colleagues in other cities? 24×7 offers a way for you to sound off about these topics, and whatever else may be on your mind, with our Annual Compensation Survey.

Open until September 30, the survey asks biomedical equipment technicians, clinical engineers, radiology equipment specialists, managers, and directors of clinical/biomedical departments across the country about their salaries and satisfaction with their work. Survey results—which we compile and publish in our December issue—offer compensation guidelines to members of the profession. Contemplating a move to a new state? Our survey can provide an indication of average salaries in that area. Thinking about moving into a different position, getting into management, or getting certified? Again, the results can provide some insight into salaries.

The survey also assesses trends across the nation in job responsibilities and satisfaction—with the trend for the last couple of years indicating increased responsibility across the board. What has changed, and what is also informative and instructive, is how different departments handle these increased workloads. Some departments have managers that go to bat for them and help administrators understand the complications that accompany repairs. Others work hard to position their department as a profit center (instead of a drain as a cost center) and increase the department’s visibility and prestige—all making it easier to get the help they need when the budget allows.

Some comments can help improve situations regardless of budgets, such as, “better communication from management.” Other suggestions that can help improve workflow may need to be put on hold until budgets improve, such as the need for “better training” or “proper test equipment.”

All in all, this short survey—it only takes about 5 minutes to complete—yields an abundance of helpful information. Please keep in mind that while we share results and suggestions, we maintain the confidentiality of all participants.

Below are some other quotes from last year that exemplify the variety of comments and suggestions received in the survey:

“Even with all of the challenges I currently face on a daily basis, the working conditions, compensation, and camaraderie that I share with my colleagues make the work enjoyable.”

A female CE underscored the understanding of her director as a key factor in keeping workloads among her colleagues manageable:

“There are always projects waiting in the wings for us to work on when we are ready, but they are not assigned to us unless we have the time to take them on.”

“This is great field where one can make a difference in the health care setting. The work changes every day. The work has been secure and has not seen layoffs.”

“Biomedical is a rewarding profession. Because of technology it is also a lifelong learning experience.”

One BMET III said, “The workload is actually lower now that we have adopted a more risk-based program.”

So if you haven’t taken the survey yet, log in and sound off about the good and the bad. I’d also like to take the time to thank all the associations that responded to my call to spread the word among their members. It is this camaraderie and support of one another that will continue to advance this important field.

Julie Kirst