By Becky Lamberth, CRA
June 2010–Radiology departments are continuously updating technology, adding new procedures, and becoming much more specialized. As our roles in imaging have expanded, many departments have found it necessary to add dedicated nurses to provide a variety of services for our patients. Radiology nurses are involved in all phases of a patient’s care, from pre-procedure planning through discharge, and as such, play a vital role on our team. I have several nurses that work in my department and they provide nursing care in all of our modalities. They serve many roles, including circulating in the interventional lab; monitoring patients for cardiac exams in CT and NM; assisting technologists in radiology and ultrasound; and most recently, have begun to provide PICC line services. At this point, I can’t imagine trying to operate my department without RNs. The landscape in radiology has changed and for the better of our patients. However, having nurses in a technologist driven environment creates a new set of challenges for both nursing and imaging leaders.
AHRA has done an outstanding job in the past mentoring and educating new leaders with programs such as the Basic Management track offered at the annual meeting by the Education Foundation Leadership Institute. This program provides a variety of information and tools for developing imaging leaders with courses from the following domains: human resources, communication, operations management, asset management, and finance. Because of our success in the past with such programs, the Association of Radiologic and Imaging Nursing (ARIN) approached members of the AHRA several months ago to explore the possibility of partnering at the annual meeting to develop a workshop to expand the knowledge base of nursing leadership in imaging departments in the same way we have with our imaging leaders. Since I have experienced my own growing pains and discomfort with managing nursing staff in radiology, I jumped at the opportunity to serve on the committee to develop a workshop for our nurse managers.
Members from both organizations have worked for the past several months creating a rich program that would develop our nursing leaders who provide care in imaging. We approached the development very much in a similar manner as we did for our own management track and focused on the crucial components that every leader in imaging should understand. “Leadership in Imaging Nursing Management Workshop” is a one day program which will provide both nursing and imaging leaders with practical tools and information on topics that include:
- Budgeting and asset management: Basic principles and components of a budget, reconciliation, radiology specific expenses, and productivity measures.
- HR and staff issues: Managing employees from different disciplines, licensing considerations, and division of responsibility between the radiology and nurse management teams.
- Project management: Tools and techniques of managing projects in the department.
- Interactions between nursing and imaging staff: Creating an environment that encourages collaboration between radiology and nursing and decreases those never ending turf wars.
- Teamwork: building an infrastructure for change and measuring outcomes.
- Radiation safety considerations: Overview of basic safety considerations, accreditation, licensing, and documentation.
The program is open to members of both organizations on the first day of the annual meeting. It is an opportunity for both disciplines to learn practical tools to address the challenges associated with the changes that are occurring rapidly in radiology. Registration information is available at www.ahraonline.org. I look forward to seeing everyone in Washington, DC this summer and hope that you enjoy this new program!
Becky Lamberth, CRA is the 2010 AHRA Annual Meeting Design Team Chair. Becky serves on the Editorial Review Board and has volunteered on a number of other AHRA committees. She works as director of radiology at Plaza Medical Center in Fort Worth, TX. She can be reached at email@example.com.