By Scott M. Mattes, CRA,BS, RT(N)
November 2013—At some point in just about everyone’s career, you feel like you have hit a wall and may even start asking yourself, “did I really make the right career choice?” I have been a technologist for 23 years, and in management for almost 20, and I must admit, not too long ago I was asking myself that question.
Back in 2004, I became a member of the AHRA, and in 2005 I passed the CRA exam. This was a great boost for me. I had attended several AHRA Annual Meetings, the last of which was in my home state of Colorado in 2008. Due to hospital cutbacks, travel for conferences was eliminated, and personal finances prevented me from attending any additional meetings.
While reading through e-mails about the 2013 Annual Meeting, I saw information about the Osborn Scholarship and decided to apply. A few weeks later I received a call from Edward Morgan, the 2012-2013 Chair of the Education Foundation Board of Directors, congratulating me on being accepted as one of the 2013 scholars.
From the very first day of the meeting, I had a renewed faith in my career choice. The energy level was just incredible. Walking through the halls of the convention center and seeing all of my peers there for the same reason was truly refreshing. I had a great time sitting in sessions and not only making new acquaintances, but also catching up with peers who I hadn’t seen for several years.
All of the sessions available offered a wide variety of topics, and really made it difficult to select one over another. Each session I attended reminded me why I chose my career path and completely solidified my commitment to the imaging profession. The session that resonated most with me was Scott Christopher’s keynote speech, “The Levity Effect: It Pays to Lighten Up.” I have been working on this with my staff for years, trying to help them have some fun at work while doing such a serious and important job, and it’s nice to see that I am not alone. I was even able to bring some fun back to my team from one of the Joint Commission sessions I attended. Yes, I am serious: I said Joint Commission and fun in the same sentence. Thanks to Michael Jordan from CMC-Union in Monroe, NC, I have shown the YouTube video “Joint Commission Linebacker” to my entire team. Go ahead and check it out, you won’t be disappointed.
Even though all of the sessions I attended were exceptional and I learned a great deal, the true highlight of my week was the Awards Ceremony and AHRA Fellows Reception. As an Osborn Scholarship recipient, I was invited to attend. To be among all of these people that dedicate so much of their time to continuously improving this organization was a humbling experience. To be a member of the AHRA is one thing, but to be totally involved and committed to improving this organization is inspiring. Thank you to the AHRA board and all of the Fellows, who spend a great deal of time making sure that the AHRA continues to grow and remain a valuable resource for imaging leaders throughout the country.
In closing, I must thank Edward Morgan, Sarah Murray, and the entire Education Foundation for giving me the opportunity to attend the 2013 Annual Meeting, and for helping to recharge and reenergize my imaging career. I will be attending future meetings because “I am AHRA!”
Scott M. Mattes, CRA,BS, RT(N) is the medical imaging clinical manager at North Colorado Medical Center in Greeley, CO. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.