Continuing Your Education as a Biomed | Angela Bennett, CHTM, Sr. Site Manager TRIMEDX

Mar 10, 2023


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Chyrill Sandrini, Angela Bennett


Chyrill Sandrini  00:15

Welcome back to HTM Insider, very excited about this episode today. I think there’s a lot of biomets that are going to tune in and maybe we’ll learn a little bit more about how to become a certified biomed. And today I have a very special guest on with us. Her name is Angela. I’m sure you’ve seen her maybe on LinkedIn. She is quite the force and the positive energy and somebody that I really admire. So without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to my friend, Angela Bennett. Angela would like to introduce yourself to the listeners?


Angela Bennett  00:49

Sure. My name is Angela Bennett. I’ve been in the field for about 9 to 10 years now started off as a 68 alpha in the military, and then slowly progressed into civilian life. And here I am today.


Chyrill Sandrini  01:05

Wow. And did you always think when you were younger that you wanted to be in electronics? Or what drove you to like, seek out maybe electronics or healthcare technology?


Angela Bennett  01:17

Well, actually, no, I was going to school before I joined the army, I was going to school to be a nurse and realized that I could not afford the schooling. So I joined the Army, and they didn’t have anything that was comparable at the time. That was open. So they were like, well, what do you think aboutBMET? And I was like, Well, what is that? And they explained it to me, I said, sounds great. It’s in the medical field. I’m very excited. So that’s kind of how I got an htm. And when I was going through the training through the METC BMET program down at Fort Sam, I just kind of fell in love with it. So I kind of stuck with it. And it’s been great to me ever since.


Chyrill Sandrini  01:57

Well, I want to thank you personally, and I know a lot of people will agree with me that you were such a positive force in the field. And it’s just exciting to watch you. And you’re a great role model for men and women, but especially young women that might be looking for career fields, in electronics or in health care. So I just want to thank you for just doing an amazing job. And always things so positive and energetic when it comes to the healthcare technology field.


Angela Bennett  02:26

Thank you so much. It’s, it’s an honor and I’m very, truly blessed to be able to do it. So very excited.


Chyrill Sandrini  02:33

And and I gotta say, yeah, it listeners if you don’t know, Angela is going to have number two on the way pretty soon – what a what an amazing thing. We talked about Beyonce, doing this being a mom and being on, you know, national television, halftime, but look at you, Angela, you are an eight, HTM manager. And among is it hard to just look things


Angela Bennett  02:59

up, it was at first. But in reality, I’ve worked for some pretty great companies that have actually accommodated pretty well. So I’m very just kind of very thankful and grateful for those companies that have allowed me to not only succeed at being a mom, but also succeeded at being a HTM leader.


Chyrill Sandrini  03:20

That’s awesome. So let’s focus in now with the episodes about being a certified biomed. So we hear the term BMET, we hear the term CBET. And there’s a lot of other acronyms. Can you kind of clear up the myth, especially people who don’t know what maybe what how many how you might become a certified biomed?


Angela Bennett  03:41

Yeah, so it’d be met as a Biomedical Equipment Technician. So that’s just your, your title, your standard title, and then you have your CBET, which is a Certified Biomedical Equipment Technician. So really nothing different except one is certified. You know, they’ve gone through this certification program, through AAMI, or ACI. And they’ve taken that initial step to really invest in their future and their career to get certified in their in their line of work.


Chyrill Sandrini  04:14

So why is it important? Why do it?


Angela Bennett  04:17

It’s really kind of important, because, you know, everybody wants to be great at what they’re doing. They want to really succeed. They want to show that they’re capable and able to do their job and do it well. Most of the time, it’s just like any certification that you would want to get in any other career field. You want to get certified in what you’re doing. And it really shows that you’re invested in your own self and your own career. You know, and if there’s employers who will pay for or sponsor you to get certified, I mean, that just shows that they’re investing in you as an employee.


Chyrill Sandrini  04:55

So you brought up a great point “pay for.” Does it cost money?


Angela Bennett  05:01

It does. It does. Depending on which exam you’re doing, because there are a lot of them ACI offers a lot of them ACI is the AAMI credentials Institute. It’s the credentialing institute that certifies, you know, AAMI CBETs and CRES and CLES, CHTM. So there’s a lot of different certification programs that they offer. But it just kind of depends price depends on if you’re a member or not of AAMI, so if you’re a member, you do get a discount on the testing as well as the study material. And if you’re not, it just kind of depends on that, and which tests you’re taking. And if it’s a retake or if it’s your first time. So just kind of depends.


Chyrill Sandrini  05:55

It sounds like maybe you should be a biomed for quite a while, or when do you get a chance to take this test, because I’m not even sure.


Angela Bennett  06:03

Yeah, so in order to be eligible, so you can take the test at any point. However, there are some eligibility requirements that does require you to have some sort of background if you will, in order for you to become eligible. So for example, CBETs, you have to meet at least one of the following minimum eligibility requirements. So you either have to have your associate’s degree or higher in Biomed Equipment Technology Program. And two years full time b network, so you have to have your either your associate’s degree or higher, plus two years of BMET work, or completion of the military biomed program, and two years full time BMET. So the biomed program is usually about a year, and then you have to have the two years of BMET work after that. Or you have to have your associate’s degree or higher and electronics technology, and three years of full time be met work experience, or you just have to have four years of full time BMET work experience. So in reality, all of those options kind of leads to like a four year experience kind of turnaround time. And then once you meet one of those criteria, and you take the the CBET, then you you are a certified biomed technician and you get the the certificate and everything.


Chyrill Sandrini  07:36

Okay, so if they want to find out and you know, look into it, what they just go to ACI to find those requirements to see if they qualify?


Angela Bennett  07:46

Yeah, so ACI actually has a candidate handbook that they can look up, it’s actually on Amy’s website, Or you can look at the ACI certification programs. And it’s just a whole handbook that kind of goes over what each certification is, how are you eligible payments, you know how much it costs, the application process? registration process, it goes through, you know, the testing windows, because the testing windows are only two times a year, there’s one in the spring and one in the fall. So if you, you have to register and apply or whatever, and then, you know, you get your code or whatever to sign on. So they send all of that to you.


Chyrill Sandrini  08:38

So it sounds like it’s pretty serious. Yes. And so how do you study for something like this? I’ve seen groups out there. He tell us more about if somebody’s thinking about this. So we’re we just past Fall, and I want to take it this Spring, is now a good time to sign up? And if it is, how do I study for this exam? And what could be on the exam?


Angela Bennett  09:02

Yes, so in the handbook, it does break down the exams and by percentage of type of questions. So for example, you know, there’s validation is approximately 25% sterilization is another 10% You know, it kind of walks them through each of the different certification tests and kind of gives them an idea of how much of that test is going to pertain to a certain subject matter. As for you know, signing up the testing windows, you know, are May 1st through the 15th and November 1st through the 15th. So, the application process usually is about 30 days before that. So you have to apply at least 30 days before that but if you are interested in doing like a study group or something like that, and then yes now would be the time to partake and look into those


Chyrill Sandrini  09:56

do you offer when they see him post about it or you’re posting about another group so I’m not sure if that’s your group?


Angela Bennett  10:03

I was yes, I was doing the CHTM study group, we had a pretty successful couple of years doing it. However, AAMI just brought me on board to help put together their official ch TM study group, where I will be doing the teaching of the course, as well as I’m putting together along with some colleagues, some testing course material. So I’m very excited to be here.


Chyrill Sandrini  10:33

I couldn’t think of a better person!


Angela Bennett  10:36

Thank you well, and we just, I saw a need for it a couple of years ago, and nobody really had it. And I was trying to get my CHTM. And I was just like, you know, what, if nobody’s gonna have it, or there’s nothing offered, then I’ll do it myself.


Chyrill Sandrini  10:49

That is, that’s awesome. Angela. So do you have to do a study group in your own area? Or is it, can you join study groups from other states?


Angela Bennett  11:01

Um, it depends. So you can. So for the HTM the CHTM, one will be offered online through AAMI. So you can they can sign up for that one, once it goes live, you can sign up for that study group course. And it will actually be virtual, it’ll be two hours for like a four week period, depending on the test. So the CBET is much more rigorous. So there’s is actually a little bit longer than the CHTM. But I mean, they get a lot of information, they can buy the study book, the study guide, or whatever that comes with it. I do know that there are a couple of companies who actually will pay for this. So you know, they’ll pay for this study group. And if the team wants to meet together and you know, sign on at the same time and learn together, that’s awesome. Nothing wrong with that, they just want to make sure that you know, they have enough people that makes it worth it.


Chyrill Sandrini  12:03

So right. So that being said, What’s the difference? If I’m a biomed, and I have my CBET, or my CHTM does one weigh more than the other or are they viewed very similar?


Angela Bennett  12:19

So the CBET is just for Biomedical Equipment Technician, technicians, and then a CHTM is for the Health Care Technology Managers. So they CHTM is kind of geared more towards leaders if management and leadership is what you’re kind of interested in. That’s what the CHTM is geared towards. It’s more geared towards the leaders of HTM.


Chyrill Sandrini  12:42

Gotcha. Now, I’ve, I’ve follow a lot of different leaders in the healthcare technology management field. And, you know, I’ve seen more and more of them come up with that CHTM, is that becoming more important to have a CBET versus a BMET on your team as a leader, to those of you who are certified as managers?


Angela Bennett  13:06

Um, yes, and no, I mean, having a certified V mat on your team, as opposed to a non certified be met, it really kind of depends on the hospital system that they are working with, if they require that or kind of view that a little bit higher than just a non-certified. So it just kind of depends on the system that you’re working for the company that you work for the value that they hold on it, I know that it’s starting to weigh a little bit more just because, you know, accreditation, and really wanting to make sure that they have the biomed team to support their hospital or company and in reality, it’s more or less the company and if they require it, or they’d recommend getting it, then that’s where the weight comes in.


Chyrill Sandrini  13:58

So if you’re a BMET and become a CBET, can you expect would it be natural to think you’re gonna get paid more? Or is that just you know, an extra title off to your name?


Angela Bennett  14:13

I wouldn’t expect to get paid more as a CBET. Again, that’s going to vary on your company and or hospital system if they are going to make that offer. But in reality, just having that title or those letters after your name is kind of, I mean, that’s, that’s a lot of pride that you can take on and a lot of, you know, it just to me, it makes me feel like okay, I’ve accomplished something, this is great. You know, and I really have invested in myself so seeing those letters really means a lot to me personally.


Chyrill Sandrini  14:47

So Angela, with all that said and I know that you have really worked hard to advance yourself in the field and to become a leader. What some things that You would suggest a newbie Matt right now coming in, you know, I have a daughter who’s a newbie bet a newbie met about a year and a half in. If you could talk to her today, what are you going to tell these guys that are out there one two years? What should they be looking into? They start planning to advance their career this way.


Angela Bennett  15:20

Yeah, it did. You know, I first things first is I would definitely say stick with it. This field has its ups and downs, just like every other field does. But you know, it’s, in reality, it’s kind of a time thing, you know, you have to have time in your role. In order to get promoted, you have to have special specialties or training. So just be patient, you know, request to go to all the trainings that you can request to get all the knowledge that you can, because that’s just going to make you a better BMET. And then if you have a succession plan, where you see yourself being a manager or leader, any sort of specialist that, you know, would require you to take those additional steps, start looking into it now. Because a lot of the trainings are planned out and get filled up pretty quick. So it just kind of, I would say, don’t give up and just kind of really come up with a secession plan for yourself. So that way, you know, the plan that you’re going to be on.


Chyrill Sandrini  16:25

And, you know, and watching you, I don’t think you’re afraid of change either. I worked with you in different assignments. So I’d love to see that your net, your next venture, is that what keeps you going, you’re just trying to, you know, get to the next level, and what drives you Angela?


Angela Bennett  16:46

Well, in the military, they say, if you ever want to get promoted, or do something different, you have to be willing to move. So I’ve done quite a bit of that movement. You know, most of it has been onward and upward, I see an opportunity, and I just really have been given the opportunities by my superiors in the past as well. So, I mean, you just have to be flexible, this field is a very small field. And, you know, if, if you’re kind of in that mode, where you don’t want to move, you never want to move, you never really want to do anything else, and you’re complacent, that’s fine. But if you ever want to succeed or do something else, and you’re just not patient, like myself, you know, you just kind of have to take that that control and really make sure that your future you have a control on your own future. Because there’s always going to be opportunities, it’s just a matter of are you willing to actually, you know, take those steps to get there.


Chyrill Sandrini  17:46

And what keeps you so positive every day? I mean, you were just a positive for sisters, the light in the day, your pumps are always positive. Tell me what what drives you in that arena.


Angela Bennett  17:59

Honestly, it’s just been experience, you know, there’s a lot of negative in the world, and I just don’t really want to feed into it. You know, because with health care and COVID that happened and still occurring and in health care, you just it’s always changing. And it’s always something to be excited about. Yes, I do have my bad days. Yes, there are days where I just want to say, okay, you know what, I’m taking a day off. But I mean, for the most part, I mean, the support that I’ve had for my family, the support that I’ve had for my companies that I worked for the support from my team, you know, I’m just trying to be that positive light for them, because sometimes they just need it. Sometimes they just need that positive influence to kind of make their day a little better. And I just don’t see a point in being negative a whole lot. Because it just doesn’t do anything for you. If it just does.


Chyrill Sandrini  18:53

if you’re talking to other healthcare technology managers, right. And I think culture is a big thing that we’re not addressing the elephant in the room, especially with shops and how would you say you could evolve and change that? I know it comes from way up high in the hospital system, maybe you’re in your company with an ISO, but how have you come to change it and drive your staff to study in advance because I’m sure you’re always poking? I guess you know, “are you studying? Are you going to take the test?” You’re right!


Angela Bennett  19:34

Um, I think I just hold them accountable and holding the team accountable for their you know, they come to me and say, hey, I want to do this training. Okay, well, this is what I need from you. You know, holding them accountable, making sure that they’re respecting each other, making sure they’re having courtesy for each other, making sure that you know, I’m providing the resources to them, to help them be successful because as a leader, you know, that’s my main goal, that’s my main job is to make sure that my team has the resources and the tools that they need to succeed. Everything else just kind of takes care of itself. And it’s always kind of been a living proof to me in my career that if I take care of my team, they’re definitely going to take care of the hospital or the company. So yeah, I just try to support them and anything that they need, and, you know, in return, I get support. So it’s been really nice.


Chyrill Sandrini  20:32

I just that I love that. That’s that that’s a great way to manage. So before we jumped on the podcast, we were kind of talking about CEU credits, which, if you’re listening on any other platform, if you also listen through TechNation, you do get a CEU credit for htm Insider. But what is it? What’s required when you are certified? To maintain that status? Is it yearly? And how many? And what does that involve?


Angela Bennett  21:04

Yeah, so CEUs is basically, you know, once you get your certification, you know, how do you manage it? How do you continue to maintain it, because you know, with any other certification, there are things that you are required to do in order to hold that certification, otherwise, the certification expires, or it doesn’t, it kind of goes voided. So the way that the maintaining of the certifications for HTM work is you earn CEUs, you have to get about 30 for over three years. But you have to be able to record that in your continuing practice journals. And again, it explains all of that in the IC or the ACI candidate handbook for the certifications. Because I believe every certification has a little bit of a different requirement. And it also it also breaks down the different CEUs and how much they weigh, and you know, how to obtain them. Yeah, and it just, for example, when you write items for ACI five items is one CEU. So it’s simple things that HTM professionals can do to, you know, promote, number one, the HTM field, and also, you know, kind of progress this field along because, you know, again, this field is very small, and we can use all the help that we can get. So if somebody can write an article, or do a blog, or something promoting htm and sharing information, what we do how we do, really gets excited, you know, that kind of promotes other people to maybe want to join the field. And it just kind of helps, it kind of helps make this field a little bit more exciting to join. It’s not as monotonous. So, you know, CEUs are a great way to, to maintain your certification as well as you know, helping out the field as well.


Chyrill Sandrini  23:09

What about conferences, you know, I see CEUs, credits are attached, I’ve actually presented classes that have been certified. What’s the importance of attending these conferences, and these trainings,


Angela Bennett  23:24

so the conferences and trainings usually weigh more than just writing a couple of articles. So it’s an easy way to get those CPUs and be present for those conferences, and like the AAMI Exchange, and all of that, in they weigh a little more, because they take a little more effort they take a little more time to, to collect. So trainings are a perfect example of collecting, you know, a couple of CEUs per hour. You know, it’s just to me, I think they’re a lot easier if you have the ability to do them.


Chyrill Sandrini  24:01

So probably, since you’re looking at 30, over three years, you got to focus on 10 a year, right, which is two months off of used in what a month. Or if you go to a conference, you pick up three CEUs, listened to a couple of HTM Insider episodes, write a few ACI, you know, documents. I think it’s really doable. I think that makes sense. And it really keeps you fresh, too, don’t you think?


Angela Bennett  24:30

Yes, yes, I agree with you. And you know, like the medical field is always changing. So, there might be some things that change along with it in the HTM field that you know, if you consider yourself a subject matter expert or have a thought or an opinion about it. You know, it’s kind of like your voice like you can share that with others and you never know you might meet somebody who has the same opinion or really or is interested in that and they just didn’t know that it existed.


Chyrill Sandrini  24:59

I was on a Call I know, Alabama is trying to get their association up and running. And and I gotta tell you really impressive people there that they say that she thinks outside the box. And you’re just you’re just energetic. And you like to ask the why not just because someone said so or someone’s done it that way before. So that is truly who I appreciate you as a person in this field to be that beacon of light and change is okay, and, and driving to something better. That’s just awesome, Angela. I gotta tell you


Angela Bennett  25:34

Thank you very much. I sometimes I feel like I’m a nuisance, but for the most part, I feel like as a young female leader in this field, me asking questions really shows that I’m really trying to understand and trying to better the field and trying to better the processes. You know, a lot of people don’t ask questions, and then they just nod along and move along. But I like to stop and ask questions to make sure that I understand. And I like to gain knowledge that way. So if I can learn from somebody else to not reinvent the wheel, then why not?


Chyrill Sandrini  26:10

Yep. You know that. And I want the listeners to really think about that. It doesn’t always have to be because they’ve always done it that way. Sure. There are requirements, right? There’s guidelines, there’s checklist, we have to do things this way because of a format of patient safety. But get the why out, ask the questions. While you’re at these conferences, ask the questions that would experts like Angela, and everyone else who attends presents, they want you to ask questions, they want you to be involved. AAMI wants you to be involved.


Angela Bennett  26:46

Absolutely, yes. Asking questions I feel like is that’s the main reason we do those conferences and trainings. You know, we want people to come and ask questions. We want people to come and learn. We want people you know, to learn from others. And if there’s somebody who has been in the field for a very long time, and they have, you know, such great information, and you know, just great feedback, why not ask them questions,


Chyrill Sandrini  27:15

Right. So, let’s recap on where they should go to find the information. And I don’t have to ask you this. But I know that anybody can reach out to you, right? Using crappie, to point them in the right direction, or maybe to a study group? Or answer the why.


Angela Bennett  27:37

Yeah, so I know that LinkedIn is a very good resource to find different things that are out there, but I’ll say it again, they’ve got all sorts of good information to where you can find, you know, the ACI handbook to get more knowledge about how to apply for being certified. They have information, they put out forums, they put out articles, just kind of all over the HTM fields. So you know, gray lists and staff modeling and stuff like that. So me as a leader, you know, if I really just have a question, and I’m like, ooh, I wonder how they do that. My first go to is AAMI. Just because they’re, they’re the HTN. Leaders, I feel like in this, this career field, so and usually they have a blog or an article or something that has been posted and published. They do have a lot of they have a lot of groups that come together and meet and put together the documentation and the information that’s put out and published. So they, they work really hard to make sure that they’re putting out accurate information for the whole field and to be able to support support us out there. So AAMI htm 24 by seven technician. All of those are great resources. So if you have any questions, if you can’t find it one place, I’m sure you’ll find it in another.


Chyrill Sandrini  29:09

Yep. I know, Amy has a lot of boards, and they’re always looking for new people to sit on a board of some sort, right? So don’t be afraid to reach out listeners and either to Angela or Danielle, someone, if you want to get more involved, don’t be afraid.


Angela Bennett  29:30

Absolutely. I went in my first year, I think I was part of like three committees. So it was great. I mean, I got I learned a lot and right now I’m only on one for them. But I’m very excited about the new chapter for the HTM or the CHTM study group that I’ve been asked to kind of lead and own so very excited to be part of that.


Chyrill Sandrini  29:56

that’s really exciting and very proud of you Thank you. Thanks so much. We’re gonna wrap it up today. So we always end every segment with the WoW word or words of wisdom that you can believe anything you want to share with the listeners, it’s all yours?


Angela Bennett  30:16

You know, I say it almost every time on all of my publishing’s, you know, if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life. And I truly kind of live by that. So it’s just, it’s never really work when you love what you do, and you love doing it.


Chyrill Sandrini  30:32

I love that, and I love you and just stay happy and amazing and strong and, and fierce. I mean, it’s a joy to watch you and your career. And it’s really been a pleasure having you on today.


Angela Bennett  30:46

Well, thank you very much for the opportunity. I really appreciate it.


Chyrill Sandrini  30:50

Yeah! Well, you guys know where you can find us any place you listen to your podcast, you know, would like you to like, comment, share, and he will always contact myself or Angela, if you have any questions. I could put you in the right direction. I know for sure. And like, again, Vivian were questions about becoming a Certified BMET or the CHTM process. You know, give us an give us a ring a shout out on LinkedIn or something and we’re here to help. Thank you for joining us on this episode. And have a great day.