By Bruce Hammond, CRA, CFAAMA, CNMT
July 2013—As I near the end of my second year on the RACC I realize the parallels with our profession are unavoidable. In the past two years the RACC has been active in updating, correcting, and adjusting our collimation on the CRA credential. We reviewed the baseline documents, realized the quality work done by the originators, and made some minor semantic tweaks to position the controlling documents for the future. We recognized the need for a new approach to testing and stopped offering the paper test, reducing costs and creating greater efficiency.
We celebrated the 10th anniversary of the CRA at the 2012 AHRA Annual Meeting in Orlando. We worked to develop a new validated test that addressed previous commission changes. This resulted in defined references, the ability for the student to study, and a focus on the minimally qualified candidate with a “will they know” versus a “they should know” approach, which the commissioners believe is more indicative of the necessary skills and knowledge base. This is not to say the exam is easier or anything was “watered down.” The commissioners who worked through this process were personally active in processes that made sure those governed were governed by those who were in the same boat.
We have said goodbye to some commissioners whose terms limited out, welcomed new commissioners, formalized the standards of evaluation for applicants, developed some standard questions for commissioner candidates, and other activities. Overall the work has been challenging and rewarding.
One of the questions I am most often asked is what do I have to do to become a CRA and then how did you become a RACC Commissioner. The first question is pretty straight forward. The minimum qualifications are posted on the website and readily available to anyone wishing to become a CRA. The second one changes, often. When I became a RACC Commissioner, I had been a CRA for a long time. I was in the inaugural class in 2002 and had been an AHRA member since the late 1970’s. I became more active through presentations at conferences in the early 2000’s and volunteered to assist in a number of ways. As part of my volunteer efforts, I was selected to work on a cut-score exam review, and the rest is history.
I will tell you the minimum qualification for the CRA are a long way from the minimum qualifications for the RACC, and if you plan on seeking the position you should start to work now because the competition only gets better and the selection more difficult every year. The collimation is significantly improved over just a few years ago. The base standard now focuses on who is the best to fulfill the duties versus who has the best resume. It also used to be that many saw the RACC position as one in a line that included a run for the AHRA Board of Directors. There may be those who have and who will serve on both, but the current group, for the most part, are singularly focused on and committed to the RACC and our objectives. If you or someone you know is interested in serving as a RACC commissioner, a Call for Nominations is open through September 8, 2013.
What does the new healthcare environment hold for medical imaging administration? What new challenges will it face? We do not have a crystal ball or the answers. What we do have is the ability to collimate our focus to ensure the future CRAs and RACC Commissioners are the best available talent, with the best skills and best baseline, able to grow and change with healthcare just like those who came before us.
Bruce Hammond, CRA, CFAAMA, CNMT is the President and CEO of Diagnostic Health Services in Addison, TX. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.