By Kimlyn N. Queen, MSM, CRA, FAHRA, RT(R), CT, MR
It is hard to believe another AHRA Annual Meeting has come and gone. I hope everyone who attended had a chance to become inspired, learn something new, and make new connections. The Annual Meeting is always a very busy time for the Radiology Administrator Certification Commissioners (RACC), and I’d like to share some of the things we were involved with during this year’s meeting.
Our work began prior to the Annual Meeting with our CRA Exam item writing process. Every two years, we bring together a team of RACC and non-RACC CRAs to create new questions (items) that will be folded into the CRA exam the following year. This is a very intense and thorough multi-step process designed to keep the CRA exam content current and relevant. With the item writing process completed ahead of time, during the Annual Meeting your RACC commissioners participated in a confidential and rigorous seven hour exam validation and cut score meeting guided by outside psychometric experts to prepare the updated exam for our May 2015 testing date.
Aside from the work on the CRA exam, your RACC Commissioners were also hard at work with the following:
- Meeting with new AHRA members and future CRAs at the New Member and First Time Attendee reception
- Reconnecting with current CRAs and CRA-Retired at the annual CRA reception (We had 121 CRAs attend this year’s reception – below is a picture of some of the CRAs who attended).
- Meeting with professional society liaisons (eg, ACR, Joint Commission, ASRT, ARRT, RBMA)
- And, last but not least, working at the CRA booth in the exhibit hall.
The CRA booth in the exhibit hall is always a great part of attending the meeting as a RACC Commissioner because we get to talk to so many different people about the CRA. At this year’s CRA booth, we displayed testimonials from CRAs and CRA-Retired, which helped spark conversation between RACC Commissioners and futures CRAs and provided inspiration for both current and future CRAs. Thank you to each of you who shared with us what your CRA means to you.
For more testimonials and information about becoming a CRA visit our website at www.CRAinfo.org. And if you’re a CRA or CRA-Retired who would be willing to share your CRA story with us, please fill out our online survey here.
I’ve spoken with many people at the CRA booth over the years and every year at least one person asks me, “I have a Master’s degree, why do I need my CRA?” I am an advocate for lifelong learning and personal and professional growth, so this question is one that touches on some topics that are very important to me. I personally have a Master’s degree; however, I know that my degree does not validate my abilities as a radiology administrator. Becoming a CRA demonstrates that you can put into daily application the skill sets of a successful radiology administrator. The CRA certification provides key stakeholders with a well-rounded picture of an individual’s abilities not just in imaging, but also in quality, operations, communications, human resources, customer service, and budget management. Add to that the current challenges in healthcare and the fact that a quick Google search for “imaging” and “CRA Preferred,” confirms that a great many positions in imaging management are now listed as CRA preferred. Whether or not you have a Master’s degree, I believe this is great time to be—or become!—a CRA.
In addition to the RACC’s other activities at the meeting, Mike Suddendorf, Marketing Director for the AHRA, and I held a session entitled “Make Your CRA Work for You.”
The key objectives for this course included:
- An introduction to the CRA
- How to become a CRA and how it can help in succession planning
- How becoming a CRA can support key business and operational objectives
- Ways to effectively communicate the importance of the CRA designation to internal and external key audiences
- How to utilize the CRA designation to build your personal brand, as well as your facility’s brand.
Handouts from this presentation can be downloaded here. If you want to explore ways to make sure you’re getting the most out of your CRA, I encourage you to check them out!
The AHRA Annual Meeting gives us a great opportunity to connect with many others in imaging management, so to complement our year round work to make the CRA credential reach maximum benefit, RACC Commissioners handed out a survey card at the CRA booth this year to current CRAs and AHRA members. Please take a moment to take this important survey online here (you do not need to have attended the meeting and you don’t need to be a CRA to help us with the survey!).
For more information on how you can maximize your CRA or for information on becoming a CRA visit our website, e-mail Kathryn Keeler, CRA Certification Coordinator at KKeeler@CRAinfo.org, or e-mail me at Kimlyn.firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.” Rabindranath Tagore
It has been my joy to serve as one of your RACC Commissioners for the past seven years.
Kimlyn N. Queen, MSM, CRA, FAHRA, RT (R) CT MR is the director of imaging and cardiac cath services for Marion General Hospital in Marion, OH. She can be contacted at Kimlyn.email@example.com.