Medical device reprocessing technicians (MDRT) have always played a crucial, behind-the-scenes role in medical and surgical centres. As the number of annual operations increases and hospital equipment continues to advance, however, MDRTs are now in higher demand than ever.
Vancouver Community College (VCC) Medical Device Reprocessing Technician (MDRT) program instructor Kevin Scott shares what keeps him moving forward in this important health care profession.
What exactly is the role of a MDRT?
Every day, we focus on patient safety by ensuring that all reusable surgical instruments and patient care equipment is clean, in good working condition, and sterilized. Although we do not work directly with patients, their safety starts in the MDR department. We always go home feeling proud of the work we have done.
Why are MDRTs so important to the functioning of the greater health care system?
The medical device reprocessing department is known as the heart of the hospital. We provide quality services to all the floors, wards, and speciality clinics, with our main customer being the operating rooms. Without MDRTs, the hospital could not function.
What sparked your desire to become an MDRT instructor for VCC?
I graduated from the VCC MDRT program in 1992, and after working at St. Paul’s Hospital for several years, VCC offered me an opportunity to become an instructor for the MDRT program. I thought it would be an exciting and a new venture in my professional career.
What do you love about teaching?
I love meeting new people each term. Students come from a variety of cultures and age groups, and I enjoy the diversity. It is exciting and rewarding to see my students progress throughout the course to become medical device reprocessing technicians.
Can you share something interesting about your journey to reach this moment?
A few things that have been interesting throughout my teaching career are the changes and advancements in the technology used in MDR departments. As well, it was very rewarding to enhance my professional teaching skills by completing the VCC Provincial Instructors Diploma Program (PIDP). Taking the PIDP also gave me the opportunity to become the contributing author for the new MDRT textbook and program in 2017.
What is your best piece advice for someone starting out in this industry?
Although it is hard work, it is also very rewarding. Be prepared for continuously learning as medical devices and technology is constantly changing.
How are the employment prospects for this career?
The employment prospects in MDR are very good and continue to stay this way due to an ongoing increase in annual surgeries and the expansion and renovations of local hospitals.