By Adam Volluz
The AHRA Annual Meeting is the single most powerful tool I have in my professional development toolbox as an imaging manager. Working in a critical access hospital in rural northeast Washington, my resources are extremely limited. The AHRA Annual Meetings are the bridges that allow me to cross over the gap of isolation into the land of infinite knowledge.
The first Annual Meeting I attended was in 2013 in Minneapolis, MN. It was at that time that I realized my knowledge in imaging management was well below par. I attended the Basic Track, which provided me with more management knowledge than I had learned during my last 3 years as a department manager. I also attended all the social events, where I accumulated more business cards than I could count. During the educational sessions, I pretty much kept to myself, trying as hard as I could to absorb all the knowledge the speakers had to offer. I returned home with hundreds of business cards, session handouts, vendor information, and a throbbing brain about to explode with information. It was amazing! I spent the next year digesting the information, altering and improving my department, adding services, and improving on my management abilities. It was the boost I needed.
As life happens and your balloon of motivation starts to deflate, you can either maintain the status quo, or do something about it. It was time for another AHRA meeting! In 2014, I knew my facility could not afford to send me to Washington, DC. That’s when I received the email about the Osborn Scholarship. I took a chance, applied, and was chosen! I knew this was the year to really step up my game and use this opportunity to take my career to the next level. I signed up for the CRA Exam Workshop and the Advanced Track program. After attending my first session, I realized once again I was far from par in my management abilities. This time, it was at a whole new level. I was challenged, and it was great!
I was meeting new imaging directors on a much higher level than me. I asked myself if I was out of my league, and the answer was yes, to the extreme. But why not learn from the best in the field, up my game, and expand my horizons? I took the challenge and boy was it worth it. I participated fully in the sessions with questions and ideas, I talked with everyone I could, and I networked until my wallet would fit no more business cards. This time I took full advantage of the meeting and learned what it means to really “push it up.”
As you can tell, attending these meetings yearly challenges you to take your department to the next level. Meeting new directors, sharing ideas, and learning from the best is what the AHRA Annual Meetings are all about. Without this invaluable resource and bottomless reservoir of knowledge, I know my management skills as well as my department would be well below industry standard. With the help of over 5000 members, there is no challenge too large and no task too daunting that I cannot overcome. Thank you, AHRA!
Adam Volluz is the imaging department manager at Ferry County Public Hospital District in Republic, WA. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.