A Conversation with the BMET of the Year
Posted May 17, 2019
Jovito “JoJo” Gonzales, BSHA, CBET, CHTM, is the lead biomedical equipment technician for Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center. He is also the AAMI and GE Healthcare BMET of the Year, and he will be honored at the AAMI Exchange in Cleveland in June.
When did you decide to become a healthcare technology management (HTM) professional?
I’ve always been fascinated with technology, even at an early age. While serving in the Navy as a hospital corpsman, I met a biomedical equipment technician (BMET) who was working on our defibrillator, and he patiently explained the program. Right then and there, I decided to become a BMET.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
My teammates, the constant change, and the feeling of reward. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that whatever challenges our team faces each day, we can collaborate and solve them together. Knowing that we contributed in delivering the best quality care to our patients is very gratifying. It makes coming to work feel like a career not just a job.
What’s the biggest challenge you ever faced on the job—and how did you address it?
Kaiser Permanente has 15 clinical technology teams scattered throughout southern California region, and leadership observed considerable differences in culture among shops. Our team took on the challenge to bring about standardization, optimization, and cultural transformation throughout the system. We studied the various traits and practices that positively or negatively affected workplace culture and used data and surveys to determine strengths and weaknesses within the shops. We took what we learned to create the GOLDEN Promise—a culture that promotes Giving, Ownership, Love, and Dedication, which includes Everyone, No matter the challenge!
How can a young HTM professional stand out from the crowd and advance in his or her career?
Be honest, humble, and hungry! Seek and work with a mentor. Strive for continuous personal and professional development. Seek higher responsibilities. Welcome each problem as an opportunity to learn. Be an advocate for process improvement. Be excellent in documentation. Create how-to-guides and lessons learned so you can share what you know.
What does your dream vacation look like?
Seeing other parts of the world, learning about other cultures, being with nature out in the wilderness and free from electronic and environmental pollution.
What’s your favorite food?
Seafood and vegetables.
How do you think the work of an HTM professional will change over the next decade or so?
We’ve grown beyond a “break-fix” vocation into an all-encompassing field. I believe the work of HTM professionals will continue to grow over the next decade. We will be even more involved in designs, life cycle management, cyber protection, and the integration of medical systems. We will gain a higher level of respect from health professionals and increase our representation in executive roles.
What’s one thing about you that your colleagues might be surprised to learn?
After 20 years of service in the Navy, I took a break and attended Golf Academy, where I received a degree in golf course management and operations. I also received my golf instructor certificate there, which I used to pull a very short stint as a golf instructor aboard a cruise ship.
What does the world need more of?
Optimism and understanding.
Pessimism and distrust.