September 2013—I am the manager of the imaging services department at a small community hospital. I was hired at this facility in my hometown as a graduate technologist in 1980, and with the exception of four years spent out of state, I have continued working there ever since.
It sounds like a very calm and stable career, but the healthcare industry and the field of radiology evolve in small hospitals the same as in larger institutions, just on a different scale. Change is a constant for all of us. One of the unique challenges in a small facility is balancing investments in technological advances with the needs and expectations of the community we serve. As the technology advances, so too must the technologists. It is fulfilling to watch technologists strive toward and reach advanced certifications in modalities in which they have been cross-trained. I have enjoyed this benefit, as well, and I am pleased our profession is supportive of this type of personal growth.
I also appreciate the role that AHRA is playing in supporting the leadership development of so many, including myself. When I first learned about the CRA credential, I was drawn in by the challenge it presented. All of my management training has been on the job, so it was exciting to discover that I was qualified to sit for this exam. I am thrilled to have achieved this goal in 2008.
The resources available through my AHRA membership have been invaluable to me. I love to see the helpful responses that are shared among colleagues in the member forum, and I often find useful information in the archived materials. I am impressed with the vast experience and bank of knowledge I am able to access.
I had long hoped for an opportunity to attend an AHRA conference, but between budget constraints in my facility and children in college constraining my personal budget, I had never previously been able to attend. This year, however, as I read through the slated presentations in the program schedule I really felt I should try to attend the Annual Meeting in Minneapolis. I received a message about the AHRA Education Foundation Osborn Scholarship, and I decided to be courageous and apply. I was delighted to be awarded this scholarship and to finally attend my first AHRA meeting.
I had a difficult time deciding which sessions to attend because I felt each one pertained to an area of responsibility that I own. The speakers were very knowledgeable, and the information they shared was timely. The topics they presented were relevant to my job duties; I was able to immediately utilize the wisdom they imparted upon my return.
I did observe something that I frankly did not expect to encounter at the Annual Meeting, and that was a high degree of camaraderie. On numerous occasions I heard people sharing new ideas they were trialing, along with past experiments that did not yield the desired results, and offers to provide frameworks for policies they had perfected. I was pleasantly surprised, and I felt a sense of pride for our profession. It appears the leadership we have is taking care to foster the leadership we will need.
I am very grateful to the AHRA Education Foundation for the award of the Osborn Scholarship. I want to personally thank Mr. Edward Morgan and Ms. Sarah Murray for all their kindness and assistance. I also want to thank the AHRA membership for the warm, welcoming, and inclusive atmosphere that I experienced at the meeting. I have been encouraged, inspired, and challenged. What great preparation for the inevitable changes just around the corner for all of us.
Kimberly L. Masters, RT (R)(M)(CT), CRA is the imaging services manager at Aultman Orrville Hospital in Orrville, OH. She can be reached at email@example.com.