A Great Learning Opportunity for New Managers

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By Amanda Marquez, BAAS, RT(R)(M), RDMS(Ob/Gyn)

December 2011—Twenty-three years ago I was sitting in a classroom with my classmates, and I remember listening to my instructor tell us that some of us were going to go into mammography, some would go into computed tomography, some would go to other various modalities, and some of us would go into management. I knew, at that moment, my long term goal was to go into radiology management. I followed a long, bumpy road, but I finally reached what I thought was the top of the mountain.  The Basic Management program at the AHRA Fall Conference provided strong guidelines and wonderful tips for maintaining my newly acquired land and opened my eyes to new topography.

As a newly promoted technologist, the honor of receiving an AHRA Osborn Scholarship came at the perfect time. The conference program helped me connect my book education with real life experience. It was evident from the time I sat down and listened to the first speaker that the agenda had been chosen carefully by experienced managers who had been in the same situation I was now facing. Each session demonstrated new ideas and histories of experiences both from the speakers and my fellow conference attendees.

My expectation of the people attending the Basic Management program was that they would all be new managers like me. Much to my surprise, I found there to be new managers, experienced managers, supervisors, as well as aspiring managers. This provided many different perspectives, which always leads to good conversation, as well as a kinship in knowing that everyone shares the same experiences related to staff, equipment, radiologists, and the business end of an imaging department.

I have to admit, my original intentions for wanting to manage a department had more to do with my abilities to be a natural leader (I think it is the Leo in me). I have always “owned” my department since when I began and there were only two technologists. Now with a total of 14 technologists, I continue to “own” my department but have learned that it is now my business.  The atmosphere of the conference confirmed this. I realized and could see in my colleagues that there is not only a love for imaging, but for its success and future.

The transition from technologist to manager is not an easy conversion.  I had heard this as a technologist, but always thought, “How bad can it be?” I would be willing to bet that most of the attendees of the conference have made that same evolution. Networking with my classmates was strongly encouraged throughout the entire meeting. Now why would I want to know what my new friend is doing in New York?  It is so clear now: we have all been in the same place, we all have the same staffing and equipment issues, and we all have an imaging department to take care of in some form or fashion.

I am so fortunate to have had the last manager that I did. It was she who recommended this wonderful organization that is truly a blessing to any person in supervision in the medical imaging field.  AHRA has done an outstanding job in finding the needs of new managers and organizing an event to accommodate them. Thank you!

Amanda Marquez, BAAS, RT(R)(M), RDMS(Ob/Gyn) is the radiology manager at Lincoln County Medical Center in Ruidoso, NM. She can be reached at amarquez3@phs.org.

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