'I think it's quite phenomenal work we do'
IT'S the symbiotic relationship between health staff and support services that enable hospitals to function. Being a part of this process has been a revelation for Kaisha Andrew.
The senior biomedical technician had tried her hand at a number of career paths. In addition to her night job as a sleep technician, she has worked as a lab assistant, in hospitality and in the retail sector.
But having completed Queensland Health's Biomedical Technology Services cadetship, she has new-found perspective of how rewarding and fulfilling a career can be.
The program trains participants in the maintenance of health services technology and equipment.
This has particular impacts on rural health, where the comparably limited resources available means hospital technology must be operating effectively.
"If the equipment isn't working to the best of its ability it impacts (doctors) work flow and patient safety,” Ms Andrew said.
"Being so rural where they don't have the machines for redundancy, I think it's quite phenomenal work we do.
"I come to work everyday excited, and I think in any job you have to love what you do.”
Ms Andrew said Mackay technicians supported services in communities such as Bowen, Clermont and Moranbah.
Since her graduation in June 2017, she has progressed to a senior role in Mackay, focusing on electro medical technology.
From ventilators to defibrillators and medical imaging equipment, Ms Andrew has been kept on her toes.
The four-year program was created in 2009 to address chronic skills shortages and an ageing workforce. Since it launched, 22 cadets specialising in the maintenance of health technology have graduated.
Biomedical technicians maintain and repair more than 145,000 pieces of health equipment, including heart monitors and infant incubators to name a few.
As the only formal biomedical technician cadetship running across Australia - which also covers participants university fees - hundreds of applicants are attracted each year.
North Queensland area director Nathan Norman said biomedical technology services supported more than 750 public health facilities, 140 ambulance stations and 80 private facilities.
He said technicians completed 4500 service requests every week, and the diversity of work took them from operating theatres to remote communities.
"It's a role that really does make a difference. What we do with equipment directly affects patient care,” Mr Norman said.
"If we don't do it right, it can be catastrophic.”