About a year ago, a small town kid graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering and not a clue with what to do with it. The field of Biomedical Engineering is so vast and the opportunities that lie within it seem endless. From research and development to sales, a new BME grad may get lost in the opportunities thrown his way. So, how does someone ever stumble into a Clinical Engineering position? And more so, end up joining the American College for Clinical Engineering (ACCE)?
As you may have guessed, I was that small town kid. I graduated college with a handful of job offers, but I knew immediately that Clinical Engineering was the specialty for me and accepted a training position through the VA's technical career field (TCF) program. Working in a hospital and being involved in the day-to-day operations had always fascinated me, but to be honest, I didn't know the specifics of what a Clinical Engineer actually did.
As the first few months passed at my new job, I began to see the big picture; how to procure and implement medical device and health information systems and cooperating with the individuals that contribute in maintaining the hospital's functionality. It was all so intense. The complexity of my job combined with almost two months of travel to different Clinical Engineering conferences and trainings, my life was a whirlwind.
Now, nine months in, things are starting to settle down, and I'm finding myself wanting to learn more about Clinical Engineering that requires me to gain a better knowledge of the field beyond my organization. I want to network with Clinical Engineers outside of the government sector, and discuss the initiatives that are in place throughout the US and the world. I want to stay relevant in the field that I have grown to know and love, something ACCE allows me to do. From providing a monthly newsletter, to integrating Clinical Engineers in public, private, and government sectors, and even pushing for an international presence, this society allows me to grow my Clinical Engineering knowledge, a feat that would near impossible without the organization.
I'm excited for the day that I am eligible to apply for an Individual member status in ACCE, once I have three years of experience, and I fully intend on doing that in my future. I also plan on obtaining my Certification in Clinical Engineering (CCE) which will showcase my Clinical Engineering expertise. But for now, I will not have to feel the "cluelessness" that I once felt in my own field of study. ACCE has been integral in providing all the guidance and information that I need to further my career and excel as a Clinical Engineer.
By Connor Walsh