By Carrie Stiles, BS, RT(R)(CT)
I am so delighted to have the opportunity to attend this year’s Annual Meeting as one of the Annual Meeting Scholarship recipients. It was truly an honor to receive the phone call from AHRA President Ed Yoder letting me know that I had been chosen. I joined AHRA last year and attended my first Annual Meeting in Minneapolis. I was introduced to AHRA by my mother, who happens to be a radiology director. She had told me so many great things about AHRA that I was very excited to be able to go.
The Annual Meeting was jam-packed with so many educational sessions that it was hard to choose the ones I wanted to attend. Luckily, many of the sessions are repeated on different days, so I was able to attend most of the ones I wanted to. Since it was my first meeting I tried to just take it all in. I was worried at first that I wouldn’t fit in because at the time I wasn’t in management yet. I quickly realized that AHRA was made up of more than just radiology directors and managers and that I had nothing to worry about. In fact, I was amazed at how nice and welcoming everyone was. I learned firsthand that AHRA is made up of some pretty amazing people, and it made me feel even more proud of the fact that I have chosen to work in radiology.
I attended several of the sessions in the Basic Track in addition to some of the Advanced Track sessions and found all them to be really informative and helpful for someone without a lot of management experience. The sessions covered a vast array of topics such as: leadership development, healthcare reform, quality metrics, and project management, just to name a few. The highlight of my time in Minneapolis was the keynote speakers. All of them were great, but I think my favorite was Liz Jazwiec. She was so entertaining and really helped me think about workplace negativity in a different way. I ended up getting her book and have shared it with my co-workers, and we are in the process of trying to implement a “Negativity Free Day” each week. I also really enjoyed the exhibit hall. It was full of vendors, and it was so exciting to see how technology keeps advancing in our field.
After leaving the 2013 Annual Meeting I was inspired to learn more and to become more involved with AHRA. I strongly feel that attending that meeting helped me finally land a promotion to a supervisory role only three months later. Now that I have one Annual Meeting under my belt and several months of actual management experience, I am so looking forward to the 2014 Annual Meeting. I hope to earn my CRA designation in the near future, and I know attending the meeting will put me one step closer to achieving this. I think everyone in radiology management and those aspiring to be need to belong to AHRA and attend an Annual Meeting.
The AHRA Education Foundation does outstanding work, and along with AHRA’s corporate sponsors they allow so many fortunate people like me to attend meetings each year. With the meeting just a few days away I am already trying to see how many sessions I can fit in! I am especially excited about the new Lean Six Sigma Workshop. I highly encourage you to attend an AHRA conference, and I can promise you that it will be a very rewarding experience. I cannot wait to be in DC, and I hope to meet many new AHRA friends! See you there!
What was the first Annual Meeting you ever attended? Send your story to Kerri Hart-Morris (firstname.lastname@example.org), and it could be published here too!
Carrie Stiles, BS, RT(R)(CT) is lead technologist of x-ray, CT, and ultrasound at Memorial Hermann Pearland Convenient Care Center in Pearland, TX. She can be reached at email@example.com.