By K. Richard Douglas
According to a colleague, Marty Davis, imaging engineer II, “quickly advanced from a biomed to an imaging engineer. He takes care of several modalities within the organization. He has a good working relationship with the staff, vendors and his colleagues.”
That’s high praise for Davis, who works in the biomedical engineering department for Firsthealth of the Carolinas in Pinehurst, North Carolina.
Davis first learned about his future career position thanks to his wife.
“I have always enjoyed taking things apart to see how they work. I was late coming to this profession, but I seem to have found my place. My wife told me about the profession when she was a respiratory therapist. So, I looked into it and felt it was something I wanted to try. Every day brings new challenges to test my repair skills. If you enjoy a challenge, and something different daily, biomed/imaging gives it to you,” he says.
Davis’ initial education was meant to pursue a career in management. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Wingate University in management. In order to get trained for his chosen career, he then had to attend Stanley Community College.
“This was to learn electronics and about medical equipment. This is a base start, and once in the field, you attend modality specific schools. I have been to several for biomed and now in imaging,” Davis says.
Some of that manufacturer training included GE P500, XR220, vascular, bone density, Philips Digital Diagnost and Toshiba/Cannon Vascular.
“These are just some of the classes, but I am not limited to this equipment. I have also attended GE CT basic where we used the new interactive computer screen training. I have been to training on all GE ultrasounds,” Davis adds.
Before moving into imaging, Davis held up the biomed duties at his hospital.
“I never really had a set position, but for 12 years I worked as the only biomed at our 120-bed hospital before switching fully to imaging. So basically, I have always just been a regular guy that wants to stay under the radar and take care of my customers,” he says.
Imaging looked like the next step after getting a dozen years of experience with medical equipment.
“I had always done first look when I was the only biomed in our smaller hospital. So, I had some hands-on experience. After 12 years of biomed, imaging offered a new challenge. Once a position opened, I jumped at the chance. It was a way to enhance my knowledge level,” Davis says.
PMs to Installs – doing it right
While maintenance is generally on the agenda, Davis has been called to assist with projects as well. His expertise also helps when new equipment is installed.
“I take care of the day-to-day repairs and PM of our imaging equipment. Projects would be helping to set up the new cath lab, rad/fluoro rooms; install and managing the install from a technician side. We have four hospitals in our system and multiple clinics,” Davis says.
He says that the installs take some planning and a lot of patience.
“The first thing to be done is decide on a manufacturer. Then, we look at the existing room to determine if any changes to the overhead rails need to be done. I always enjoy the part of planning and reading the blueprints for the new room. It’s amazing at the detail put into the blueprints for a room,” Davis adds.
He says that if you work on these rooms it’s always a great idea to be involved in the new install.
“This way, I know where my cables are installed for future problems. Once the install starts, it’s like building a house. You need to be there every day for any questions the installers might have,” Davis says.
“The electricians will always have some questions about where to add conduit or outlets. The installs can take some time to complete and you need to always be on top of any decisions to be made. That’s the part I hate about installs, because my decisions can make or break the project,” Davis concedes.
He says that it makes sense that they ask the imaging guys since they work on the equipment.
“These people are experts in electrical, but we are supposed to be the experts on our equipment. Once the install is complete, the manufacturer will test and calibrate. Next comes the best part of the install; seeing the completed room up and working,” Davis says.
When not helping with installs or conducting PMs, Davis enjoys riding bikes with my buddies.
“Road biking is a lot of fun, but you have to be vigilant of traffic and dogs. It’s great to get home from work and just climb on my bike for about 20 miles. Great way to relax and wind down,” he says.
He also enjoys golf, fishing; both fresh and saltwater. “Water skiing, which I grew up doing at my parent’s lake house,” he adds.
He even enjoys mowing the lawn. “Yes, I love to mow my grass; love the way it looks when mowed.”
Davis is a husband and father who enjoys his time away from work. He has been married for 21 years and has two daughters.