Real World Experiences Drive Real Change for 18 Female Saudi Engineering Students
Sometimes when travelling overseas, it’s hard to get perspective on the significance of what you are doing. But for 18 Saudi female biomedical engineering students, the importance of the skills and training they gained while in Texas was dramatically reinforced by meeting Laura Bush, former First Lady of the United States.
These senior-year students from the University of Dammam (UoD) participated in a month-long “Biomedical Engineering Technology Program,” held at the MediSend Biomedical Engineering Technology School in Dallas, in collaboration with the Healthcare Skills Training Institute (HSTI).
The new expertise and understandings they developed while in Dallas are contributing to the ongoing change that they are helping to drive as some of the first female engineers with this specialization in Saudi Arabia and the wider Middle East and Turkey region.
HSTI is run by GE Healthcare Education Solutions in partnership with King Fahad Medical City and is located in the heart of the medical city campus in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
During the internship, the students learned essential medical terms and healthcare policies; studied the design of medical instruments in state-of–the-art electronics and medical equipment laboratories; and explored the fundamentals of select biomedical technologies, such as patient monitoring, life support and ultrasound imaging equipment. The courses were taught by MediSend instructors.
Also during their time in Dallas, they shadowed professional biomedical engineers working in the students’ chosen clinical specialties during a one-week internship at Baylor University Medical Center. They experienced real-world situations in an active clinical setting.
As one of the enrichment activities on the sidelines of the program period in Texas, the young women visited the Bush Presidential Library, where they were received by former First Lady Laura Bush, wife of former President George W. Bush.
The program also included sessions from GE experts in areas such as leadership development, change management and engineering topics like “Risk Management and Human Factors Engineering.”
For the second year, the program was sponsored by Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare. Last year’s program involved 14 female students who travelled to the GE Healthcare Institute in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. Their graduation was attended by John L. Flannery, President & CEO of GE Healthcare.
Today, more than 25,000 GE Healthcare technologies are deployed across the Kingdom’s hospitals. GE Healthcare also has provided training to more than 6,000 healthcare professionals in the Kingdom over the past three years, part of the company’s decades-long commitment to helping strengthen the local medical community by offering clinical and technical trainings to achieve the ministry’s “patient first” vision.
For more information on the Education Solutions biomedical engineering program, please visit the program website.