By Bette Drescher, CRA
In the fall of 2013, I was asked by a former colleague and current commissioner on the RACC (Radiology Administration Certification Commission) to consider running for an open RACC commissioner position. As I was contemplating this suggestion, I reviewed past meeting minutes, Link articles, and discussed expectations with the colleague who recommended that I consider this role. After taking time to assess this new opportunity’s fit for me, I decided to take a risk and went for it! A few weeks later, I received the very exciting and humbling news that I had been elected to the RACC commissioner position by my CRA peers (you!).
One of the first assignments I was given was to write this article from the perspective of a new commissioner. While researching for this project, I spent time reviewing articles written by my predecessors and current colleagues. Not surprisingly, a theme arose: being a RACC commissioner is hard but rewarding work!
Soon after I was elected, I joined my new team on the first of our monthly conference calls to begin my official orientation. I was lucky enough to be partnered with my RACC mentor, Mark Steffen, who met with me prior to each of the first few calls to review topics and answer my questions so the calls could maintain their fast paced, goal oriented nature. I learned quickly that there is a great deal of work taking place behind the scenes, including test item writing and reviewing questions for relevance, marketing to increase our numbers, discussion on ways to engage CRAs in telling their stories, and reaching out to those who may not be aware of the CRA credential and the power it has to impact an imaging management career in a positive way.
The recognition that obtaining a CRA credential adds value to your career is spreading. In 2011, we reported 787 CRAs throughout the US. In 2013, we reached the 1,020 mark! To add more excitement, we have another large class pre-registered to sit for the exam later this year that would potentially bring us to over 1,100 strong by the end of 2014. If you are considering the CRA path, I encourage you to reach out to current CRAs for support and advice on how to approach studying, or consider partnering with colleagues to make a study group and engage in some friendly competition.
I would like to challenge all of you who are CRAs to tell your story. The RACC will be sending out an e-mail request in the next month to current CRAs asking for your CRA story – we want to hear why you took the exam and what happened after you became a CRA. Whether it’s a funny story, a poignant one, or a story full of the everyday details we can all relate to, we would love to hear from you.
In closing, I encourage you all to review Kimlyn Queen’s reflection of the RACC’s 2013 accomplishments in her Link article from January. There are many references and links to information about the CRA and its potential. I am grateful to those of you who supported my election and those who will continue to support me as I grow and learn within my new role. I look forward to meeting my new team in person at the AHRA Annual Meeting in Washington DC in August, and I hope to see many of you there as well – it is sure to be a memorable event!
My goal is to represent you and your concerns or issues to the best of my abilities. I welcome your thoughts and invite you to reach out to me.
Better Drescher, CRA is the radiology manager at Group Health-Bellevue Medical Center in Bellevue, WA. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.