By Jacqui Rose, CRA
June 2010–What an exciting time to be part of the Radiology Administration Certification Commission (RACC)! Thanks to those who gave me the opportunity to be a part of an energetic group that is committed to every current and future CRA.
For many years, imaging professionals have suffered from a sort of identity crisis in the healthcare field. From our beginning as students and new radiographers, we have at times wondered how we fit into the bigger picture. Yet every day, imaging administrators wear a multitude of hats in areas such as fiscal management, asset management, communication and information management, human resources, and operations management (all CRA domains). We may be the most comprehensive professionals in healthcare today and are well positioned to elevate our profession and end this identity crisis.
The CRA program is our mechanism to accomplish this goal. It was developed with this concept (the mission of the RACC): “To promote individual recognition and verifiable excellence within the medical imaging management profession and healthcare in general.” In order to do this, we must increase our numbers and our recognition. The RACC vision states, “[we] must strive to be nationally recognized as the preferred standard for excellence in medical imaging management.” We have already attained recognition from the ARRT, ACR, ASRT, AAMA, and RBMA, and we continue to develop more key relationships. The vision continues, “[we] will provide value for CRAs, and create a challenging but attainable aspiration for individuals who wish to be known for their excellence in the imaging management profession.” This value sets each of us apart from the mainstream and allows us to market ourselves as certifiably the best. However, it is up to us, as current and future CRAs, to live the vision and elevate our profession!
Spring is a great time to re-energize the CRA program. We have a newly updated version of the exam designed to accommodate a variety of backgrounds and practice environments. A comprehensive review of the reference material was performed to bring the list down to a manageable number of items. And to top it off, the exam is being offered at a reduced rate for a limited time! Every imaging professional should take advantage of this opportunity.
If you are a CRA:
- Wear your CRA pin with pride.
- Proudly display your CRA certificate (custom made frame and matting can be purchased from www.framingsuccess.com).
- Use your CRA credential as part of your professional signature.
- Use the CRA logo on your business cards, resume, or professional Web site (guidelines and logo consent form can be found online here).
- Talk to people you think should be CRAs; encourage them to prepare for and take the CRA exam.
- Introduce up and coming staff to the CRA; help them work towards CRA exam eligibility and success on the CRA exam. Imagine the benefit that multiple certified people can have on the quality of care in your organization.
- Add a “CRA preferred” or “CRA required” line to your job description
- Talk to your HR department and C-levels and educate them about the CRA—you can find helpful information on the CRA Web site here.
- Are you active in other medical or imaging management organizations? Talk to them about recognizing the CRA or granting reciprocity or points/CEU for passing the CRA exam.
If you are not a CRA yet:
- Network with other potential CRA candidates—talk study strategy, encourage each other, help each other stay on track with CRA plans.
- Talk to people in your facility—let them know you plan to become a CRA and ask them to mentor you, teach you skills you may be weak in, or let you shadow them in areas that may be less familiar to you.
- Educate leaders in your facility about the CRA (you can find helpful information on the CRA Web site here)—many facilities will pay the application fee and some even reimburse for reference books.
Help spread the energy and elevate our profession through the CRA!
Jacqui Rose, CRA is administrative director of imaging services at Upper Valley Medical Center in Troy, OH. She serves as a commissioner on the 2010 Radiology Administration Certification Committee (RACC). She can be reached at email@example.com.