Jesmond Zerafa
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Jesmond Zerafa

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What is your name and what is your
official designation within the 
Ministry for Health?
My name is Jesmond Zerafa and I am a Senior Technical Officer

Where do you work and what do your duties entail?
I work in the Biomedical Engineering Department at
Mater Dei Hospital. My role in this department pertains to service, maintenance, planning and co-coordination of day-to-day activities on various pieces of medical equipment that fall under my direct responsibility.

The job demands that all preventative and corrective maintenance of all equipment is done and completed as recommended by the manufacturer, and done within the timeframes also recommended ​by the manufacturer.​

How long have you been working with the Public Service?
24 Years.

Are there any specific qualifications required for your post?
Successfully completed a course of study under the Technician Apprenticeship Scheme or a technical  qualification in electronics and or mechanical engineering at MQF Level 4 or 5 from MCAST. As a Senior Technical Officer within the Biomedical Engineering Department, I am also obliged to attend various technical training courses overseas, on the repair processes and procedures to be followed, to service and maintain sensitive medical equipment, as recommended by the manufacturer of the equipment.

What attracted you to take up your profession and to the health service?
I was attracted to take up this position when we visited the Biomedical Engineering Department, which at the time was situated at St’ Luke’s Hospital. I was impressed with the sophistication and fine intricacies that the medical equipment has on the patients, and with how this is to be handled and maintained from a technical point of view.

I had joined the Health Department as an apprentice, and I can say that ever since that day I never looked back with any regrets. From a career point of view, I keep telling myself that the day I decided to join the Biomedical Engineering Department, was one of the best decisions of my life.

What motivates you most?
Knowing that through my contribution of looking after medical equipment is helping our patients either improve in their health condition, or at least assist in reducing the pain that various patients suffer to their health condition/s.

What about the teamwork between different professions/roles involved in relation to patient care?
In this day and age, patient care has to be holistic. No profession can work on its own to improve patient  condition. I’m proud that the Biomedical Engineering Section is one of the loops in the chain that reaps great benefits to our patients.

Can you give us one challenge and one success story?
One of the biggest challenges that the Biomedical Engineering Department had, is the response to COVID-19 outbreak. The Biomedical Engineering Department did the impossible by purchasing millions of Euro’s worth of equipment within a narrow time frame. This, from a Medical Equipment point of view allowed our hospital, to be very well prepared for this pandemic. Furthermore, the Biomedical Department was a front-liner to assist Mater Dei Hospital in setting up emergency COVID wards in a matter of a few days. This was one big challenge to meet, which then thankfully turned out to be one great feat achieved by the Biomedical Department. I feel so proud that I formed part of this Biomedical Team that collectively was successful in putting all these extra COIVID wards together, against all odds.

What advice would you give to young students considering taking up this profession?
 of all, I would always recommend students to follow a course or degree which they absolutely like. Secondly, when it comes to choosing a place of work after successfully obtaining a diploma or a degree, one must try to get an understanding of the environment that they will be working in. If it is a ​​​ hospital environment that is being considered, then one must be as certain as possible that working in a hospital environment is what they really wish to do. If blood or a hospital environment scares somebody out of their wits, then the likelihood is that such job is not the right job for that person. 

Thirdly, anybody working in a hospital environment must be a team player, both with those who the person is working directly with, as well as with all multidisciplinary professions usually found in a hospital environment. If one is litigious or is unable to communicate properly with other people, then the hospital may not be the working environment for them. Fourthly, by working within the Biomedical Department, one will continuously expose himself/herself to being in touch, and moreover abreast with all the latest technologies and innovations that are met in medical equipment, on a yearly basis. Last but not least, I would advise all people considering to work at the Biomedical Department not to expect huge financial rewards. The job satisfaction that I personally get by placing a smile on a patient’s face is so far more rewarding than the money.

What are the benefits of working with the public service?
The benefits of working within the public service are:
Family friendly measures
Job Security
Give you opportunities to further your knowledge in your respective field.