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  • I am a Biomedical Technician by trade. For those that don’t know what that means,
    it’s a glorified equipment repairman. Kinda like the Maytag repairman on steroids. We are the ones they call when they can’t make the machines work in the Operating Rooms and the ICU’s. Most of us have received extensive training in how the human body works in relation to instrumentation. In other words, what the EKG really means and so forth. So it stands to reason that we have inflated self esteems. We have our own professional organizations to promote….Us!

    Having said all that, it would be instructional to hear how I got into this field 30 years ago. I was working part time as a maintenance man in a hotel while attending a semester of college and was trying to find something else to do. I had applied at a warehouse and they had me in for a second interview, which means the job offer was imminent.
    Being a warehouse worker was beneath my ex-wife’s status and she was trying to find me something more refined. My ex-wife was a nurse and her hospital needed a biomedical program. I had been an electrician and had some rudimentary electronic knowledge (tube theory-really ancient stuff from the military). So she urged me to apply for one of the two positions. I applied and, being the great bullshitter that I am, convinced them that I was the one for the job. The other guy they hired to start up the program was an EKG tech with no electronic background, so at least I didn’t feel outclassed.
    The funny thing is, we did a great job and today he is the manager of a 6 man biomedical program and well respected in his field. Most of our training was on the job or in manufacturer’s schools. As we bought new equipment, we went to a training school on it.

    So “what are you complaining about now?” you might ask? It’s not a complaint as much as a nagging feeling of inadequacy. I walk into a bad situation in an Operating room and everyone expects me to be able to make it all better.

    The gloppida-gloppida machine is crevulating and they need Walter Mitty to make it run smooth and save the patient’s life. And, I’ve done it so many times that I walk in knowing I can. But can I tell you how I did it? Or why I did what I did? Absolutely not. It just seemed to be the thing to do at the time. Not being able to explain it, even to myself, is the problem. Oh, I can say the right things and have other techs nod their heads in agreement, but I really (deep in my soul) don't know what I'm doing.

    Do other highly skilled professionals doubt their abilities at times?

    How about Airline Pilots? “Damn, I’m not sure how I landed that one!”

    Or Rocket Scientist’s? “Oops! Oh well, I hear Mars is nice this time of year!”

    I have a nagging suspicion that the god’s of fate are setting me up for a big one.
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