Bettering Myself as a Leader

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By Katie Throndsen

I was introduced to AHRA by my director four years ago, shortly after stepping into a leadership role.  It was the best tool a new leader could ask for; I found answers to many of my questions within the forum and AHRA’s collection of articles. Having never worked at another facility I still wondered if we were doing the best we could or if there were better ways of achieving our goals and exceeding patient expectations. When I saw the opportunity to participate in the Partners in Learning program, I jumped at the chance to see how another facility operates.

I could not have been partnered with a better host site. Julie at Scottsdale Healthcare was a wonderful hostess, and she and her staff showed me the good, the bad, and the ugly. I was worried I would get half-truths about how they operated, but they were transparent without being negative, which I very much appreciated.

I just happened to be visiting during National Radiologic Technology Week™, and it was fun to see the different events Julie had planned for her team. Each day I visited a different campus, but no matter where we were every day started the same. I first met with Julie and the radiology leaders in their morning huddles to discuss safety, productivity, and other pertinent information. This is something I was familiar with but not in such a detailed manner. Then we went to the director’s meeting to discuss those same items on a hospital level. As we do something similar at Memorial, it proved to me that in fiscally responsible hospitals, everyone is concerned with the daily operations of the departments.

There were a few items on my checklist that I was very interested in learning about because they were items I was currently struggling with. I really appreciated the opportunity to discuss the process of a successful combined IR/cath lab with the charge nurse. This is a venture that is being looked into at our own facility and as she reiterated it is very important to set the tone from the beginning so there is no confusion amongst the staff or physicians. I feel lucky to have gotten her insight prior to ours opening. I was also able to see how they handle radiation badges and lead inventory for all three facilities. All the managers gave me insight into how they deal with managing multiple sites with multiple shifts.

It wasn’t all work and no play. Scottsdale was a beautiful city, and I had fun touring it. There was also plenty of sunshine and warmth while hiking on their beautiful trails. Julie also shared a book with me, Radical Loving Care. Although I have not gotten a chance to read it yet, I look forward to seeing where she draws her inspiration from. I truly appreciated the opportunity afforded to me by AHRA and GE to meet Julie and her team to better myself as a leader in the healthcare industry. Thank you!


If you would like to participate as a guest in the 2015 Partners in Learning program, guest applications will be available the first week of March. 


Katie Throndsen is the nuclear medicine supervisor at Memorial Health System – Colorado Springs in Colorado Springs, CO. She can be reached at katherine.throndsen@uchealth.org.

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