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From Lab Technician to Duke University Hospital: The Allison Woolford Story

Allison Woolford, MS, CBET fine-tuning medical equipment with expertise and dedication in the biomed shop.

In the latest episode of HTM on the Line podcat, we had an inspiring conversation with Allison Woolford, MS, CBET, who is part of Clinical Engineering at Duke University Hospital in Durham, North Carolina. Allison is a trailblazer in the rapidly growing realm of the Health Technology Management (HTM) Industry. Allison's journey is nothing short of inspiring, carving a unique path through a male-dominated field and leaving an indelible mark on the intersection of healthcare and technology.

Allison's initial dream of a career in the medical field led her to Xavier University in New Orleans, La. However, as fate would have it, she experienced a change of heart just before obtaining her Bachelor of Science degree. Undeterred, she embarked on a diverse journey that took her from working at Forever 21 in the mall, to the front of a 9th-grade Earth Science classroom. Her resilience and adaptability shine through as she eventually found her way to the American Red Cross, starting as a lab technician—a pivotal moment that set the stage for her remarkable trajectory in the HTM industry.

The episode highlights Allison's emphasis on effective communication and collaboration

Allison working on an anesthesia machine in surgery

within the specialized HTM industry. She underscores the importance of speaking a universal language in medical technology, acting as a bridge between the complex technical jargon and the understanding of end-users. This key insight serves as a guiding principle for professionals navigating the intricacies of Healthcare Technology Management.

Allison's shares insight on how medical equipment is managed on cruise ships, thus providing a fascinating glimpse into the diverse settings in which HTM professionals have to operate. It serves as a testament to the adaptability and flexibility required in the face of unique challenges presented by different environments.

In the ever-evolving landscape where IT and biomedical technology intersect, Allison sheds light on the increasing crossover and the changing face of HTM. Professionals in the field are now required to stay abreast of the latest developments in both realms, emphasizing the necessity of being fluent in both HTM and IT terminologies to effectively manage cutting-edge medical equipment.

Beyond the machines and tech-talk, Allison poignantly brings attention to the often-overlooked human element in the HTM industry. Patient care and compassion, according to her, are not just elements of the profession—they are integral components that profoundly impact a patient's healthcare journey.

As an educator and adjunct professor at Durham Technical Community College, Allison bridges the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical skills in HTM. Her dedication to equipping the next generation of biomedical equipment technicians is instrumental in ensuring the continuity and growth of the HTM industry. She not only advocates for the HTM industry but actively inspires more individuals to join, helping to fill the gap left by those retiring or leaving the field.

Allison shines @MDEPXO Mixer in Baltimore, Maryland — where expertise meets networking in every conversation.

In summary, this episode of HTM on the Line provides invaluable insights into the dynamic world of Health Technology Management. Allison Woolford's journey, experiences, and wisdom serve as an inspiration to both seasoned professionals and newcomers in the field. The episode beautifully underscores the importance of effective communication, collaboration, adaptability, and patient care in the HTM industry, shining a light on the human side of this highly specialized field. Tune in and be ready to be inspired by Allison Woolford's remarkable journey in shaping the heartbeat of Health Technology Management.

To hear this podcast episode featuring Allison Woolford, click right here.

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