Osborn Scholar Experience at 2009 Fall Conference

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By Becky Apodaca, CRA, BS, RT(R) 

November 2009 — Greeting from Lafayette, IN, where the leaves are turning and the times are changing!

Our community has welcomed a new hospital to the area this past year and is in the process of building yet another.  The one being built right now is where I work!  So, needless to say, my coworkers and I are in the midst of constant change.  Details, drawings, deadlines, and, oh yes, we still need to care for our patients.

This atmosphere made the agenda for the 2009 fall conference all that more appealing.  But, our education budget was frozen. And I just rewired our house, college tuition for my daughter was due, and tires on my car! So, I applied for and received the fall conference Osborn Scholarship.  Thank you, AHRA!

I was off to Nashville, TN.  The first 3 courses at the fall conference were called “Leading Operational Changes Within Your Medical Imaging Department,” Medical Imaging Leader to Employee Rounding for Outcomes,” and “Coping with Change” later in the day.  What a day of information and sharing.  To be honest, our current status has made rounding all the more important.  I thought it was before, but now it is paramount.  As Lois Cone spoke of change, she did so via an alternative method.  I was hesitant at first, but found that the information she presented was very helpful.  Her soft tone, wandering throughout the crowd, and unusual suggestions made me go hmmm, but I quickly changed my tune.  I could listen to her again!

And, speaking of change, next I sat in on Melody Mulaik’s presentation regarding CPT changes for 2010.  As the key contact for this task within our department, I always appreciate a heads up.

The social event for the evening was a cocktail reception, generously sponsored by Bayer Healthcare.  People visited with vendors, chatted together and enjoyed the plentiful snacks.  

There was a variety of topics for Day 2, many addressing the concept of change.  How do we deal with declining reimbursement; how do we manage our staffing levels given the changes in business practices; how do we support clinical technologists as they grow into leadership roles?  

Last but not least, and a first for me, was a presentation about saving money on the clinical engineering end of things.  Patrick Lynch, CCE, CBET, MBA, spoke on the options available for equipment support.  He was in the hot spot: last course, last day.  But his easy going presentation manner and unusual topic proved to be a great way to end the conference, keeping the attendees’ attention and providing information to help us in the current and future times.

Once again, an awesome conference, awesome group of people, and a very professional opportunity.  Thank you for this gift!  I will use it wisely.

“You are not here merely to make a living.  You are here to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, and with a finer spirit of hope and achievement.  You are here to enrich the world.  You impoverish yourself if you forget this errand.” — Woodrow Wilson, 28th President of the United States. 

Becky Apodaca, CRA, BS,RT(R) is the radiology operations manager at St. Elizabeth Regional Health in Lafayette, IN.  She was 2009 fall conference Osborn Scholarship recipient.  Becky can be reached at becky.apodaca@ssfhs.org.

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