By Jason Theadore, MHA, CRA, RT(R), FAHRA
Every day when we walk into our offices, we work towards excellence – excellence in patient care, excellence in representing our team, and excellence in medical imaging. That excellence may be more far reaching than you realize. One way to receive external validation of your larger role as a medical imaging leader is the distinction of the AHRA Fellow designation. I was fortunate enough to receive the AHRA Fellow distinction in 2013. There are a few reasons I applied and there are even more reasons it has provided value to me and my organization.
For Your Next Job Interview: This may not be what you think. To date, there are only 160 AHRA Fellows, so there is little doubt it will set you apart from the crowd… not just for yourself, but also for those looking for a good employer. Good applicants research you and your company before their interview. Achieving Fellow status tells the applicant that you believe in professional development, not just for yourself, but for your team and others in medical imaging.
External Validation: Many companies say they are the best. I see it at the end of everyone’s e-mails or on their radiology reports. It seems we all have the best physicians, best state of the art equipment, and the best staff. It could be true, but that is simply our opinion. External validation of those things can set you and your team apart from your competition. Like the Certified Radiology Administrator (CRA) credential, the AHRA Fellow designation speaks highly of the standards you set as a leader.
Highlight Medical Imaging: We all look for ways to highlight our profession within the health care arena. The Fellow status opens doors for many conversations. Many health care leaders are not aware of the complexity of medical imaging or the value of the AHRA. Fellows receive the privilege of adding the initials “FAHRA” after their names. When you encounter someone who does not know what it stands for, it opens the door for a great conversation and an opportunity to educate them about medical imaging and the AHRA.
It is Simple: The application process targets four specific areas: AHRA contributions, education, professional experience, and professional contributions. If you have been an active volunteer with the AHRA, you might surprise yourself by finding that you already qualify for Fellow status. If you are interested, I encourage you to download the application and see just how close you are to your FAHRA.
This past year, I have enjoyed speaking about the value of medical imaging in health care and the value of the AHRA. I have been able to seize more opportunities for those discussions after receiving my Fellow designation. Our organization provides AHRA memberships to our medical imaging leadership team. This is due to the fact that we have Fellows, CRAs, and many volunteers in our organization. It simply shows the team’s drive for excellence.
The AHRA Fellow designation recognizes the significant contributions of AHRA members to the industry and to the AHRA. Using an evaluation point scale and meeting minimum point requirements, members may submit an application for Fellow status. Applications require the sponsorship of a current AHRA Fellow (if you do not know a Fellow, you can give me a call). The application is easy to complete.
The 2014 deadline for submissions is May 19. Best of luck!
Jason Theadore, MHA, CRA, R.T.(R), FAHRA is the Vice President of Health Center Operations at OhioHealth Neighborhood Care in Columbus, OH. He can be reached at email@example.com.