We caught up with Michael Fernandez, a seasoned radiologic technologist from Baptist Hospital of Miami, to discuss his experience with robotics and his integral part in their developing program. The facility started their robotic program in 2014 and has since grown.
Implementation of a comprehensive program can push your hospital ahead of the curve by offering the latest in precision medicine for your patients. At the same time, your hospital will be investing in the safety of the physicians and staff who spend their lives devoted to caring for others. Staff members are a critical component to the success of robotic programs.
Read our interview to get to know more about Michael, learn about his experience with the CorPath System, and understand the tech’s role during robotic procedures.
Tell us about your background and credentials. What led you to the cath lab?
MF: I have been in the medical imaging world since 2009. I am a Licensed Radiologic Technologist Certified in Radiology (R), Computed Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MR), and Cardiac Intervention (CI). I have been working for the Miami Cardiac and Vascular Institute for three years and going.
What do you like about robotics?
MF: I like the accuracy, torque-ability, and control of devices that robotics provides. I feel like having more control of the case can make the overall procedure more efficient which makes your work flow smoother.
How has robotics changed the way you look at the delivery of cardiac/vascular care?
MF: With more accuracy in measuring anatomy, and control of the wire to be able to cross complex lesions, I believe the system brings more efficiency and accuracy to vascular interventions.
Are you more cognizant now of the dangers of radiation?
MF: Absolutely. Being a radiologic technologist, I am very aware of the harmful effects of scatter ionizing radiation. We all know that distance from the X-ray tube is your very best friend, because it reduces your exposure to these harmful rays. Integrating robotics in the lab allows us to distance ourselves from the patient table during procedures to help reduce our radiation exposure.
How many cases did it take for you to get proficient with exchanges?
MF: One! The robot is very intuitive and walks the bedside user through loading and exchanging devices. That being said, patience is key for both physicians and staff in the beginning.
Have you developed a closer relationship with the robotic physicians as a result?
MF: I have been working with Dr. Gomez for two years and going. So far, we have shared great experiences both in and outside the cath lab. Besides our great relationship, our flawless teamwork throughout robotic PCI cases allows us to work together with ease. Communication between physician and staff is key during robotic procedures. I cannot think of a better operator so far for this system!
Do you believe robotics is the future?
MF: As technology continues to evolve, robotics may very well be the future to more accurate and efficient interventions.
What do you enjoy doing outside the cath lab?
MF: Being a Miami Florida native, beside working and studying, I enjoy going out on the water and doing all sorts of water activities and sports. Jet-skiing and boating are my favorites.
What are your plans for the future?
MF: I look forward to continuing to improve my techniques in cardiac intervention and potentially someday becoming a physician or assistant.
Congratulations to Michael and the whole team at Baptist Hospital of Miami! We look forward to the continued momentum of your vascular robotics program.
Are you a technologist interested in robotic technology? Contact us here or click to download our free eBook, Guide to Building a Successful Robotic Program.