GE Healthcare Gives QUEST the Inside Look
Article by Addrenia Smith (Q18)
A QUEST event no different from others, this LE yet again combined a learning opportunity with a fun and interesting experience. Early on a Friday morning, a group of us QUESTers piled into two mini-vans driven by Dr. Bailey and Melanie and headed to Laurel, MD for a day trip to GE Healthcare to explore the day-to-day activities of the plant. We had the chance to learn from GE Healthcare employees and presenters about the company as well as what goes into manufacturing the warmers and incubators which are used in neonatal centers in hospitals world-wide.
The impressively large panda bear seated under a television screen that displayed a message welcoming both Universities of Maryland (UMBC happened to be visiting the same day and time) was the first of many great things to be seen that day. Before leading us to the most exciting part of the tour, our guide first allowed us to gain some insight on GE Healthcare as a whole. GE Healthcare, a branch of General Electric, provides medical services and technology to the world’s youngest patients. After a brief overview, we were finally able to see where the “magic” happens, and by magic I mean where the plants’ main products (the warmers and incubators) are made.
Our guide quickly broke down the rules, which included staying inside the yellow tape and no photography, although at times it was almost too tempting not to sneak a picture! Walking through the maze of a manufacturing floor we could see that the plant was split up into sections where employees would put together an incubator or warmer one piece at a time. One other thing that we noticed were the pictures of babies scattered around the plant. It was hard getting past just how adorable the newborns were. However, it was great to learn how much everyone at the GE Healthcare plant cared about their customers, who ultimately were the many babies born everyday who would use their products either for a short amount of time right after their birth, or for a longer period of time to ensure that they are in the best of health before going home. We also saw more panda bears; the panda bears along with the giraffes were the inspiration for the names of each of the products which also bore a symbol of the animals.
Once the tour was finished we found our way back to our original meeting room where we engaged in some friendly competition with UMBC as we answered questions about what we’d learned that day. We wrapped up the day on a good note, and even had time to snap a few group shots with the panda in the lobby. Overall, I would say it was truly an amazing experience to see the extent to which a global corporate giant cares so much for the tiniest human being by putting so much love and care into each product that they make whether the machinery is being sent to a large local hospital, or overseas to small centers in other countries.