The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) has developed the Certified Associate in Biomedical Technology (CABT), a new kind of certification aimed at professionals considering or just starting a career in healthcare technology management (HTM). By passing the certification exam, candidates can demonstrate that they possess the fundamental skillset to meet the growing demands of the HTM field while ensuring a high level of competency.
It’s no secret that the HTM field is expecting a glut of open positions. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that 2,000 new medical equipment repairer positions will be created by 2028, while clinical lab and industry technician positions are facing even more substantial growth, creating an additional 35,100 new jobs across science and medical sectors. However, what’s worrying managers is that an estimated 50% of the current clinical engineering workforce is over the age of 50. As this group retires, and the number of senior professionals available to coach new hires dwindles, the demand for new hires will only increase.
“AAMI is working hard not only to provide a solution for this anticipated deficit of HTM professionals, but to help promising professionals start their HTM careers right,” said MJ McLaughlin, director of education programming at AAMI. “Extensive work went into developing the CABT to help address these concerns and ensure a bright future for HTM.”
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Recently, AAMI commissioned 12 subject matter experts with discovering what could make starting an HTM career difficult. They identified a wide skill gap between the average starting candidate and Certified Biomedical Equipment Technicians (CBETs).
“There is going to be a huge need to start replacing the retiring HTM workforce, so the sooner we can bridge this gap, the sooner we can start bolstering all these open positions,” said Nathan Lynch, a biomedical cybersecurity advisor for Kaiser Permanente.
Nathan Lynch poses in full PPE during his time at an HTM department.
Nathan Lynch poses in PPE for healthcare technology maintenance.
Lynch, who assisted in the analysis, worked for five years as a healthcare technology manager before transitioning to cybersecurity. He explained that in an ideal world, new hires become competent in their positions well before senior staff retire.
“It’s best to get new hires into positions where there’s a senior workforce that can pass the baton,” he said. “Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen, so that’s where this new certification is coming into play. It’s making sure that all these new hires have a bare minimum knowledge level to be able to function independently without harming themselves or harming others.”