I’m honored to be selected as Navy Medicine’s 2015 fiscal year Shore-Based Junior Biomedical Equipment Technician (BMET) of the Year.
I’m a Chicago native, graduating from Stephen Tyng Mather High School in 2002. I attended Northeastern Illinois University that fall then transferred to Wilburn Wright College, but I couldn’t find direction on what I wanted to do as a career, so I decided to join the Navy to travel the world.
I left for boot camp in December of 2005, followed by corps school at Great Lakes, Ill. and then Field Medical Service School, Camp Pendleton, California. I was then assigned to 1st Medical Battalion and volunteered to deploy with Headquarter I Marine Expeditionary Force to Camp Fallujah, Iraq, fall of 2006.
I think the most exciting assignment I had was on that first deployment. I’ve learned more about life in that short amount of time than I learned in my 22 years before it.
I deployed again with 1st Medical Battalion back to Camp Fallujah Iraq in February of 2008 . After that deployment, I departed for Naval Training Command Great Lakes. While there I was accepted into BIOMED “C” School. After completing BIOMED School in April 2013 I was then assigned to Naval Hospital Bremerton for my first tour as a BMET.
A little bio-med tech background; our overlapping duties include assembling, maintaining, troubleshooting, aligning, and calibrating medical equipment. We also calculate circuit parameters, solder, plumbing, welding, and handle accurate documentation. Another major emphasis is on deployable medical equipment such as X-Ray, dental X-Ray, laboratory, ophthalmic, dental, pneumatic, hydraulic, general, medical and surgical diagnostic and treatment equipment at the module or circuit board level that for example is being currently used on USNS Mercy for Pacific Partnership 2015.
I’ve always been interested in medicine and how we can apply new technology to advance medicine. That is the main reason why I decided to become a corpsman. When I found out about BMET, I had to get into that Navy Enlisted Classification (NEC). I love being a BMET every day. If you love your job, you will never work another day in your life. I would say that this NEC is the Navy’s hidden gem. The training received is second to none. We are the heart of the hospital by maintaining the medical and dental equipment at the highest level for the command. Without proper maintained equipment, the hospital would not be able to provide the best healthcare to our patients.
We also deal with life-saving equipment that patients need to survive. If a piece of equipment doesn’t do its job, they could very well die without it. That’s a lot of pressure on us as technicians to maintain all the equipment in the highest form possible. Attention to details is paramount.
The most gratifying aspect of my job is that I get to ensure that all the equipment that is used by the command is completed to the highest standard possible. The equipment that is being used on my family and my extended-family (Navy shipmates) were completed by my shop. It makes me happy to see a child born here and know that I personally verified all the equipment that was used during the birth.
The best part about my career in Navy Medicine is the people I work with and the opportunity that it has given me. Thanks to Navy Medicine, I’m able advance my education and I’m just five classes away from completing BSAST in Biomedical Electronics without paying a cent.
BMETs work normally goes unnoticed. We maintain the hospital and without us the hospital would literally fall apart. We are normally only noticed when equipment breaks and then it’s a rush for us to fix it. It normally is a thankless job and I don’t think people understand the impact that this non-typical corpsman jobs has on every day.
As nice as it is being recognized as BMET of the Year, it should really go to all of my BMET colleagues at Naval Hospital Bremerton, not just myself.
I’ve been married to my wife Bella for six years. She is very supportive of me and my career. I’m also father to four year old Briella and we have another one on the way.
I’m Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Ricler M. Magsayo. I am Navy Medicine.