AAMI News February 2020

Career Center: Keeping a Clutter-Free Work Area

Kelvin Knight is the director of biomedical engineering at Children’s Hospital Alabama in Birmingham, AL, and a member of AAMI’s Technology Management Council.


Kelvin Knight
Kelvin Knight practices what he preaches—his desk is a clutter-free zone.

There are many reasons to keep your work space neat. An organized office visually demonstrates your organizational skills, is a better place to work, and—most importantly—projects a good professional image to all who visit your area.

Everywhere I go, the senior-level staff members have neat and well-organized workspaces. It seems to set the right tone—especially with clinical staff, who are themselves held to a high standard of cleanliness and organization. Health technology staff should have the same expectations.

Demonstrating Organizational Skills

Health technology professionals are often responsible for keeping up with medical equipment and tracking preventive maintenance and the work history of medical equipment. We are expected to have this information organized and easily accessible.

Occasionally, a member of the clinical team may have a need to visit the department to drop off equipment. They also may stop by because they are curious where their transport monitor is, what we have on our “awaiting parts order” shelf, or where we come from when they call us for service.

A neat and organized work area visually demonstrates good organizational skills, improves the work environment, and projects a good professional image for you and for the healthcare technology profession.

A Better Place to Work

Coming in each morning to a neat work area is much more appealing than coming into an area that appears to be in a state of disarray. We have all seen work benches covered in paper, printed circuit boards, assorted screws, nuts, bolts, and the case shells of equipment that have been partially disassembled. It can be easy to forget what the work bench looks like when the top is always covered in paperwork and parts. Sometimes the area around the work bench can be covered with equipment and disorganized as well.

Spending just a few minutes cleaning up and reorganizing your work area every day before you go home can make a big difference in your productivity and how you feel about your work area when you come in the next day.

A Good Professional Image

Projecting a good professional image is important in every aspect of the healthcare field. The clinical staff that we support are held to a high standard, and their work areas must be kept neat and clean. Health technology professionals can earn a measure of respect from our clinical counterparts by keeping a neat work area as well.

A neat and organized work area visually demonstrates good organizational skills, improves the work environment, and projects a good professional image for you and for the healthcare technology profession.

Is a cluttered desk an indicator of a cluttered mind? Or, is an empty desk evidence of an empty mind? Regardless of your opinion, setting a schedule for cleaning your work area each day may help you as you advance in your career.

If you want others in the healthcare field to think of you as a top-level healthcare technology professional, your work area should reflect that persona.


Do you have an idea or opinion you’d like to share with your colleagues? The AAMIBlog welcomes contributions from the medical technology community. If you would like to submit a blog post or idea for consideration,please email it to blog@aami.org.