UTMC biomed technician receives top score in national test

July 1, 2009 | Features, UToday
By Emily Hickey

After being the first in his room to complete the biomedical equipment technician certification test, UT technician Nathan Burks was unsure of what score he would receive.

Burks said it wasn’t until he saw an acknowledgement in the March/April edition of the Biomedical Instrumentation and Technology Magazine that he even knew he had the top score in 2008.

Steven Hanenkrath, the director of the biomedical engineering/work center, helped to foster Burk’s career. Hanenkrath’s department collaborates with Owens Community College and its Biomedical Equipment Technician Program to host two interns each year at The University of Toledo Medical Center.

Burks was an intern in the Technical Support Department from September 2006 until May 2007. He praised the exposure the department and internship gave him. “It was a unique situation because I spent each month with a different technician.”

During the one-year assignment, interns work with technicians with different specialties. Hanenkrath said interns can learn as much as they want in those areas; he spoke of some students who take vacation time from their other jobs to work more in the shop.

Burks spoke of the impact his internship had on his career. “I’m very motivated. I got a lot out of it because I put a lot into to,” he said.

Hanenkrath said the benefits of this program are endless because students had not only received classroom education, but technicians teach them what they know, in turn re-educating themselves and staying updated on the technology. It also gives students greater insight into the field and contacts with outside vendors, Hanenkrath added.

Burk’s internship was only the beginning of his career at UT. After leaving the Mercy Hospital in Tiffin, he became a biomedical equipment technician at the UT Medical Center.

Hanenkrath said that because more students are entering this program across the country, he is receiving phone calls from schools in Pennsylvania and Michigan asking him to host more interns.

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