AHRA 2010: A Millennials’ Perspective

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By Michael Jordan, MHA, CRA, RT(R)

November 2010–As the summer of 2010 was winding down to an end with spectacular sunsets and cool afternoons, where better to spend some of those wonderful afternoons than by the Potomac at the 2010 AHRA Annual Meeting? I was lucky enough to do just that as one of the three AHRA Education Foundation Osborn Scholarship recipients. With the economic crunch this past year, it was the only way I was able to attend. For that, I would like to extend a big thanks to all those who make this scholarship possible.

After learning I was to receive a scholarship, the excitement of reconnecting with friends, learning best practices, and looking at many products in the exhibit hall started filling my mind. I had been to past annual meetings, so I knew what great things were in store. This time would be different, however, as I was set to take the CRA exam. The preparation began by studying with the excellent books in the Professional Development Series published by AHRA. (This series is not only a great way to review for the CRA exam, but offers insights into daily operational practices, capital purchases, and employee relations that would benefit any leader.) The months slipped by this year until I found myself sitting in a room at the Gaylord National with other leaders, making small talk to ease the nervousness of the exam that we were all obviously feeling. With what felt like a full day passing by, I finally completed the exam and was off to enjoy the meeting.

One of the wonderful keynote speakers, Bob Murphy, of the Studer Group, did a wonderful presentation on how the top 1% get things done and what they are not telling the other 99% of us. He had some excellent points, but there was one thing that impacted me personally. At one point he asked for those that were 30 and under to raise their hands. There were about 5-10 of us there. He stated to the experienced leaders that they need us, as we have knowledge that they don’t and we will be the ones taking over so they can retire. He made the point that there are a lot of things that can be learned from the Millennial generation (those born between 1979 and 1994). Conversely, Murphy said that Millennials need those with more experience to learn from, as well.

This all resonated with me, as I realized just how much and yet how little the Millennial generation knows. We are learning every day the way every facet of diagnostic imaging functions from those with more experience. There is a spectrum of knowledge amongst Millennials in operations, where some have already gained great experience and others are just beginning. There is an area where Millennials are well versed in knowledge: how to deal with other Millennials. As the Baby Boomer generation enters retirement, this will be a key competency for the new leaders of tomorrow. The landscape is already changing in the years that I have been in healthcare.  Everything is more technology driven, and interaction with employees and customers is changing just as quickly. It will be up to those in the Millennial generation to learn as much as we can from our experienced leaders, and to couple that with the experiences we have had growing up in the world that looks completely different from our parents’ world.

I would like to issue a call to action of those of my generation, the Millennials: Don’t be reserved and think that someone else will lead. Step up and learn as much as you can. Get active, become involved.  If not in the AHRA, then get involved somewhere in your community.  Let’s change the perception that the next generation is out just for themselves and make an impact on our world. You can do it, just as I, too, push forward into this world of imaging. I passed the CRA exam and you can, too.

Michael Jordan, MHA, CRA, RT(R) is a recipient of the 2010 Annual Meeting Osborn Scholarship. He is the imaging manager, radiology, at Carolinas Medical Center-Union in Monroe, NC. He can be reached at michael.jordan@carolinashealthcare.org.

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