How do you go about creating a workforce out of thin air? This is the problem Jill Taylor, Co-Owner of ReNew Biomedical and Master Medical Equipment, faced in 2019. ReNew is a full-service medical equipment depot in Jackson, TN, specializing in repairing, servicing, and maintaining complex medical equipment. Over their seven years of operation, ReNew earned licenses to work on a wide range of Professional Grade equipment, including ventilators, AEDs, defibrillators, vital signs monitors, IV pumps, and more. In that same time, the company expanded to offer biomedical field service to Medical Facilities customers in all 50 states and cover everything from EMS, hospitals, med flights, surgery centers, and every kind of first responder. ReNew’s rapid growth raised an urgent question for Co-Owners Mark and Jill Taylor and Justin Smith: How do we hire Healthcare Technology Management technicians in Jackson, TN?As if hiring trained, experienced, specialized medical equipment technicians wasn’t difficult enough, the COVID-19 pandemic attacked the healthcare industry. Thousands of ventilators had to be unboxed and laboriously prepped for clinical use. Countless other ventilators required service and calibration to continue delivering life-saving respiratory therapy. As the healthcare system experienced more stress, the need for immediate equipment service of monitors, infusion pumps, and defibrillators only increased. ReNew was understaffed, overworked, and the workload showed no signs of letting up. Cue the ReNew Biomedical Training Academy.
The ReNew Biomedical Training Academy, the brainchild of Jill Taylor, is designed to fight the shortage of skilled HTMs and biomedical technicians in West Tennessee. With certified technicians in short supply and high demand, Jill set out to create a program to certify new technicians. She aimed to offer a comprehensive program including curriculum training, workbench experience, journeymen mentors, and achievement of industry certifications. Apprentices in the program receive full pay while working towards their certifications, making it a viable and attractive work-study option for future techs. “Jackson offers a perfect environment for this type of apprenticeship program because of the number of candidates in search of job placement in a more technical field of study. We believe that the pool of talent in our area is strong, and the growth potential is very exciting,” said Jill Taylor.
Mark reached out to the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI), the official standardization body for certifying medical equipment technicians. AAMI came alongside the project to offer resources, including their curriculum for a newly developed course. With this partnership, ReNew became the first apprenticeship program to partner with AAMI, offering CABT (Certified Associate in Biomedical Technology) and CBET (Certified Biomedical Equipment Technician) certifications. “It couldn’t have worked out better,” Taylor says. “The things that we wanted to do dovetailed perfectly with what AAMI wanted to do as well.”
Thanks to Gov Bill Lee and Commissioner Rolfe, the Training Academy received grants from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development to renovate their facility, including new workbenches and new classroom spaces. Additionally, the RBTA registered with the U.S. Department of Labor as an Apprentice program, ensuring high management standards and a meaningful mentor framework. Governor Bill Lee notes, “The addition of these high-quality jobs in Madison County will make a difference both for the employees and our collective efforts to fight COVID-19. These technical jobs equip healthcare workers with the equipment they need to operate effectively, and I thank ReNew Biomedical Services for their continued investment in Tennessee.”
Apprentices enrolled in the Training Academy acquire real-world training on a variety of medical equipment. Not only do they learn in a personalized environment with small classes, but they also put it into practice on the workbench. The comprehensive AAMI-Accredited curriculum prepares apprentices to pass a CABT Certification test (~6-month program), CBET Certification test (~2-year program), and IT Fundamentals. Since the official launch in January 2021, seven ReNew technicians have earned CABT certification and continue to study for their CBET.
ReNew Biomedical is the sister company of Master Medical Equipment, with both companies operating under the same roof. MME focuses on sales of new and recertified equipment, while ReNew supplies the equipment service. ReNew is ISO 13485 certified, which verifies a quality management system specific to medical equipment handling. This certifies ReNew’s commitment to meeting customers’ needs and sets a framework for continual self-improvement. The hard work of biomedical technicians and apprentices alike has had a global impact. Timely service and fast turnaround times allowed MME to distribute thousands of life-saving healthcare units to healthcare workers on the front lines of the covid pandemic.
ReNew Biomedical offers a clean, indoor, well-maintained work environment, much to the delight of technicians brought in from other industries. Mechanically-gifted techs find it easy to switch to the high-paying field of biomedical work, as evidenced by most biomeds beginning their careers in other fields. Caleb Barber, who recently achieved his CABT, said, “A friend offered me a position as a base level tech when I was searching for a new career opportunity. What I thought was just going to be another job turned into a lifelong career that I’m striving to succeed in. I have a mechanical background which made biomed work an easy transition. I’ve come to enjoy the fulfilling work along with building a career with ReNew.”
The Training Academy always seeks hardworking talent and those interested in launching a skilled, in-demand, rewarding career path right here in Jackson, Tennessee. Vibrant healthcare infrastructure is key to Jackson and West Tennessee’s future, becoming one of the fastest-growing industries. ReNew Biomedical Training Academy is on track to produce over 45 talented, high-paying jobs with U.S. Department of Labor recognized credentials over the next five years. To learn more or apply, visit www.ReNewBiomedical.com/ or email Rwoods@renewbiomedical.com.
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