By Laurelynn L. Brey, CRA, RT(R)(M)(CT)
I joined AHRA over 20 years ago and must admit I was a little skeptical of what my membership would be able to offer me. Most of my career I have worked in a wonderful small community hospital in Reedsburg, WI. I was sure all of the other AHRA members would be from large facilities and the educational programs would be geared towards them and maybe not as applicable to me. How wrong I was! The first Annual Meeting I attended in Las Vegas was such a great event, and I realized very quickly that AHRA has something to offer everyone. Whether you’re a leader in a clinic, critical access hospital, or large teaching facility you will find many educational sessions at the AHRA Annual Meeting that pertain to you and your needs. You will know you spent your education dollars wisely.
Through the years I have been fortunate to attend many Annual Meetings. This year I was lucky enough to receive the Osborn Scholarship to attend the Annual Meeting in Washington DC. I had really wanted to attend this year, but education dollars were a little tight. One of the reasons I wanted to attend is because at the 2013 meeting I was inspired by speakers and other members to take the CRA exam. In November I completed the exam and passed. This had been a personal goal and I was very proud to present my new credentials to my hospital administration. The test gave me the opportunity to evaluate my leadership and radiology knowledge. I then wanted to attend the 2014 Annual Meeting to attend the CRA reception. In receiving the scholarship I was able to attend this event and was able to network with fellow CRAs from all different types and sizes of facilities. We all have more in common than we think in leading our imaging departments.
Just being a member of the AHRA provides many opportunities for improving your leadership abilities. The forum, Radiology Management, and local area meetings have added to my skills. However, attending an AHRA Annual Meeting is what really inspires me and gives me the enthusiasm to excel and improve in my job.
If you are an AHRA member and have not attended an Annual Meeting, you are really missing out. I hope to see some new faces and reconnect with familiar friends at the 2015 meeting in Las Vegas.
Laurelynn L. Brey, CRA, RT(R)(M)(CT) is the radiology director at Reedsburg Area Medical Center in Reedsburg, WI. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.