By John Garrett
We all have some vision of a better world. A place where the challenges and problems that face mankind on both a macro and micro level are all overcome. We understand that a world without problems or challenges is probably beyond our reach, yet we have some vision of what that ideal world would look like. Within our profession, that would include those individuals who must have a medical procedure to have the best possible outcomes.
There is often the misconception that all outcomes are based solely on the doctor. The truth is that in modern medicine, while the doctor is important, there are so many other moving parts that must work properly. In the treatment of the patient that the entire health care system has to function at its best to ensure best outcomes. That includes the function of equipment used to diagnose and treat the patient.
While performing a preventive maintenance (PM) or fixing equipment, this is the opportunity to impact patient outcomes. Ensuring that equipment in properly calibrated and functioning as designed, an individual performing that work is part of the care of the patient. It is important to remember this during the stress and difficulty of the moment. When department directors are trying to convince the field service engineer (FSE) that they need to “shave an hour” off of the PM or “just get it to run for this patient” that they stand their ground. Do the work right each and every time no matter the desires of the managers or directors. Do not sell your integrity.
Everyone wants an FSE who is able to do the job right every time. But, how are these individuals created? They are not born with an innate ability to be the ideal FSE. The hard truth is that most people that end up in this small world of medical imaging repair had no idea that it even existed as a career until they were hired. Of course, it requires someone that has the ability and interest to master electronics, have mechanical ability and knowledge. They need system specific training and time on the equipment that they service. Yet, often there are other skill sets that are overlooked, and result in less efficient and/or productive personnel. By providing non-technical training your entire company or hospital can improve. Customer service training is a big item. It doesn’t cost much and there is a great deal of literature available. Public speaking training can aid in training others and developing the next generation that will follow. Even providing books on self-esteem and coping skills can show a big result in the quality of your staff. There any number of “soft skills” to consider. The bottom line is that assisting your staff with self-improvement helps the team. Improving the team will lead to the best possible patient outcomes. Having the best patient outcomes will lead to a better world.