Finding a new career after 20+ years in the workforce

Morrey Allen spent more than 20 years working outside of the HTM field when he decided he was ready for a career change. He knew he wanted to move into health care in some capacity, but he did not have much related experience. As he searched for possibilities, he found the BMET Apprenticeship program sponsored by TRIMEDX and realized it was his chance to break into a new industry.

In September 2022, Allen became one of the first four people to join the newly established program. The 24-month program, in partnership with the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI), combines traditional education with up to 6,000 hours of on-the-job learning. Allen is based at a hospital in North Carolina, where he immediately was put to work.

“It’s super busy. I sort of jumped right into the fire,” says Allen. “I trained with a great group of guys who are willing to answer questions.”

Allen has taken several courses including anatomy, physiology, and medical terminology—the cost of which are all covered through the program by TRIMEDX.

You think about in today's economy, today's world, just how expensive it is to try and get a degree or just take a class. It’s super expensive,” says Allen. “That was definitely a selling point that I looked at very closely.”

But he says the best part of the BMET Apprenticeship is the hands-on experience.

“It’s the magic sauce,” Allen says.

Every day Allen is learning from experienced BMETs about new equipment and devices. He says it is essential experience he wouldn’t have otherwise.

“You have to take [the devices] apart and look inside them,” says Allen, “Electronics is not in my background. It would be just too abstract if I couldn’t really be here and interact with the guys.”

Since Allen started, another class of four BMET apprentices have joined the program. Allen says he’s been happy to answer questions and help the apprentices who come after him, one of whom is based at the same hospital. TRIMEDX Workforce Strategy Director Courtney Kinkade says this type of mentorship will be a special aspect of the program as it grows.

When he completes the apprenticeship program in 2024, Allen could be eligible for an advanced BMET position. Kinkade says one of the goals of the program is to develop the next generation of talent.

“Our ultimate goal is to elevate their career quickly,” says Kinkade.

Allen is rotating through different departments in the hospital—imaging, beds, pumps, and more—as he decides how he wants to specialize going forward. The apprenticeship allows him to work and learn each area to find out what he’s most interested in pursuing. He’s excited about the stability, “non-stop learning,” and variety of pathways an HTM career could offer.

Allen encourages others who are thinking about a career change to consider applying for the apprenticeship program.

“Especially if your background is not [HTM], like me,” says Allen, “Don’t hesitate.”