By Liza Kohler
I would first like to thank AHRA and GE for this amazing program. The Partners in Learning program is definitely a once in a lifetime experience. As a manager at an imaging center, I have MRI credentials and my bachelor’s degree in business administration. This program is extremely beneficial to someone like me who did not get their start as a radiologic technologist. Since my trip, I have enrolled in a radiography program. I can see that this education can be highly beneficial to a hospital administrator.
I chose Lehigh Valley Hospital Network in Allentown, PA for my site visit. My mentor for the week was Cathleen Story. I was able to visit all of the radiology departments and two different hospitals in the network. I received excellent firsthand experience as to what it is like to be a lead or a radiology manager and manage operations in a hospital setting.
On my first day, I mostly attended staff meetings in each department and then observed the follow-up required to delegate and implement the material discussed in those meetings.
On my second day, I was able to shadow each department and one of their techs or managers. I visited MRI first. What an amazing site! They had 7 magnets in one MRI suite. Everyone was so professional and knew exactly what giving excellent patient care means. Then I went to Ultrasound. I found this department to be so organized and on top of each patient that was on the schedule. They also demonstrated excellent teamwork. Lastly, I got to see the fast-paced action of CT. I found it extremely fascinating how the machines can now give automatic verbal cues for the breath holds, depending on the scan being run.
On my third and final day, I visited the nuclear medicine department. This department was extremely knowledgeable. To be a nuclear medicine technologist, one really needs to have ingrained the laws and guidelines for regulation standards. It takes a special person to work in this department. Again, I was able to see the work involved and the planning it takes for one patient. It was an incredible experience. As the day neared its end, I went to my last department, the X-ray department located in the ER. This was the most fast-paced, intense, and nail biting of all the departments for me. It was just like the movies. LHVN is a trauma hospital, so these radiology techs are in the midst of all the action.
As much as it was my goal to learn how each department runs, it was also my mission to seek out the hospital robots. Yes, I said robots. These robots transport medications and supplies in place of humans. Hopefully for us in radiology, we never have to worry about robots taking over.
Cathleen handles each department with such excellence and finesse. Under her administration, she manages 300+ employees, multiple hospital locations, and outpatient centers, amongst many other responsibilities. If you were to look up the definition of multi-tasking, it would have her name and picture. She really does an amazing job. She even took the time to help me with current staffing issues going on at my job. Her guidance is superior, and she is fluent in what it takes to run a successful radiology department.
Thank you again AHRA for designing such a brilliant program!
Liza Kohler is the imaging manager at SMI Imaging Center in San Diego, CA. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.