My Hop to CHOP

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By Richard Patten, BS, RT(R)

I was equally honored and excited to be given the opportunity to participate in AHRA’s 2014 Partners in Learning program. My educational visit was to the prestigious Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) in Pennsylvania. I was very fortunate to be matched with the Director of Radiology, Chris Tomlinson. Chris and the rest of the team at CHOP provided me with a warm reception and an outstanding learning experience that I won’t soon forget.

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is a smooth functioning and well managed establishment with 516 beds. When I arrived at CHOP, my first impression of the facility was a positive one. The atmosphere was friendly, warm, and inviting just as one would hope and expect a pediatric hospital would be. I was able to meet with several department heads and learn about both their struggles and their triumphs. In addition to learning some vital aspects of how they function on a day to day basis, I was able to model one of their color coded quality reporting forms into a useful tool for analyzing my own department’s performance at Scottsdale Healthcare.

The one thing that stood out above everything else during my visit to CHOP was the helpful, caring attitude of the people working there. It was apparent that the employees at CHOP have pride in their patients’ outcomes, their organization, and their profession. They seem to truly enjoy the people around them. They greeted patients and co-workers with a smile and treated everyone with the utmost consideration. Their genuine desire to help came across as I witnessed several people go the extra mile to provide excellent service to their patients.

I want to express my sincere thanks and acknowledgement to the AHRA Education Foundation and GE Healthcare for enabling me to participate in such an amazing experience. I would also like to thank Chris Tomlinson for being such a gracious host, making me feel right at ease from the beginning, and taking the time to truly help me get the most out of my experience. My advice to fellow colleagues is short: if you have the opportunity to visit another hospital through the generosity of the Partners in Learning program, take it. From start to finish, my “hop to CHOP” experience reinforced my own belief of the accomplishments that can be achieved when everyone is committed to the same goals.

Richard Patten, BS, RT(R) is a clinical instructor of radiology at Scottsdale Healthcare in Scottsdale, AZ. He can be contacted at

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