By Mark Koers
X-ray Service Technician Eric Zion joined the Modular Devices team in 2011. With a degree in biomedical electronics, Eric has grown into one of MDI’s most relied on mobile and modular lab service technicians, out in the field and here at our Indianapolis headquarters.
I recently talked with Eric to give you, our audience, more insight into the interesting day-to-day work of our service technicians.
WHAT IS YOUR WORK SCHEDULE LIKE?
I work pretty typical hours – 7:30-4:30 – but usually each day is different. For example, today I’m working on Mobile Cath Labs upgrade, uninstalling a Philips Integris system and prepping a GE Innova 4100 digital flat detector system. After that, we’ll be getting the procedure room ready for the new system installation.
Our on-site jobs last a few days. After a lab is delivered and installed, I test equipment, set up networking components and jump right into training the staff. Then, I usually stick around for two or three days, watching live cases and making sure the staff is comfortable operating the systems.
WHAT DO YOU DO BETWEEN INTERIM LAB PROJECTS?
Other typical assignments include preparing labs for upcoming leases. That means testing and calibrating all of the equipment; keeping contact with the hospital to make sure we’re getting all the necessary information, such as IP addresses, to integrate the imaging systems. We also have a lot of conference calls with lab technicians and hospital administrators going over details of delivery.
There’s always something to be done around the shop, general organization and upkeep. We keep a large inventory of extra parts for all of our systems; so, refurbishing those and keeping a general inventory.
WHAT’S CHALLENGING ABOUT BEING A SERVICE TECHNICIAN?
A challenging component of this work is developing and maintaining certain skill sets as the technology evolves. When I first came into my position, I didn’t have a background in [computer] networking. There is a ton of networking and communication involved with the systems we use, allowing our labs to be integrated into a hospital’s network to send images or bring in information from their systems. We have a few veteran employees who have been in the industry for 20+ years, so I had a lot of personal training and direction with the equipment.
WHAT’S REWARDING ABOUT THE POSITION?
I would say, at the end of the delivery, when I’m hanging out in the back feeling a case, and letting the staff and doctors do their thing. I enjoy the feeling that what we’ve done – the preparation, delivery, training – is helping other people. The lab is a big part of the case, and it’s helping patients, and in many cases extending their life.
Also, I’m an avid traveler, so it’s nice to have the opportunity to travel all over the country for work!
WHAT, IF ANYTHING, DO YOU THINK SETS MODULAR DEVICES APART FROM OTHER LAB PROVIDERS?
I would say probably our service department. We have a large fleet compared to other companies – just a large number of varying equipment and a better selection. And our equipment and labs, in general, are newer and continually refurbished.
We also have our own specialists and technicians. Some companies in the industry only have one, if any, in-house, while we have five. A lot of times they’ll farm service calls to third party vendors, while we’re available 24/7 and bring in the original manufacturer only when necessary.
Customer service is critical to what we do. If I get call a call from a cath lab manager or doctor when there’s a problem, it’s my job to see them through. They have cases scheduled, so I have to assure them that we’ll get someone out immediately, or at other times walking a lab tech through the procedure over the phone is enough.
Eric is a graduate of Vincennes University in Vincennes, Indiana. Recently married, Eric loves going to concerts, traveling, and being outdoors.
Interested in learning more about our service technicians or interim CT and cath labs? Drop us a comment below, or contact us here.