A New Way to Learn

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By Chad Smith, BA, RT(R)(CT)(MR)

For a newer member of the imaging management world, the number of regulations and standards that must be met can be somewhat overwhelming. There are so many changes in imaging now – including the new Joint Commission regulations and the implementation of ICD-10 – that it is challenging to prioritize which change needs to be addressed first. I was fortunate enough to be able to participate in AHRA’s 2015 Virtual Fall Conference, which did an outstanding job providing much needed education to imaging leaders.

The virtual conference provided participants the opportunity to listen to pre-recorded lectures and participate in live chat sessions with professionals well versed in their subject areas. The conference also enabled participants to ask questions along the way on discussion boards to make it as close to an in person experience as possible. A huge perk of this format was the ability to view the recorded sessions at any time.

There were many great lectures offered, but the one that was most beneficial to me, as a leader awaiting a Joint Commission survey, was provided by a diagnostic medical physicist from the Joint Commission, Andrea Browne, BA, MS, PhD. During the presentation Andrea addressed each of the revised standards for 2015 and gave recommendations on the best ways to meet these standards. For example, for standard HR.01.05.03 EP 14, which talks about annual radiation training for imaging technologists, she suggested using education provided by Image Gently and Image Wisely, but also stated that vendor-provided training can be used as well. In addition, Andrea offered suggested resources at the end of her presentation that I found to be very beneficial. One of those resources used was www.aapm.org/pubs/CTProtocols which provides suggested CT protocols and recommended dose levels. The information from this presentation helped me better prepare for my facility’s survey, which I’m happy to report was successful.

Kenneth Fazzino stated in his presentation, Style Matters: “Good leadership inspires, motivates, and guides great achievements beyond the expected.” This presentation focused on leadership skills such as being respectful, being a motivator, being fair, and being empathetic. He made many suggestions on how to best gain the respect of your employees. This information made me stop and think about my leadership style and how I can make changes to more effectively lead a group of people. For example, I could work on delegating to more staff members and empowering them to achieve accomplishments within the department. Mr. Fazzino concluded his presentation by indicating that “someone is always watching.” Whether it is my staff or other members of the facility, someone is always observing my actions. As leaders we should lead by example in our everyday actions.

The sessions I mentioned above are just two examples of the great education provided during the Fall Conference. The speakers were highly skilled in the topics they discussed and were more than willing to answer questions during the chat sessions. Whether it was about how to prepare for a Joint Commission visit, how to code exams for billing, or how to be a successful, motivating leader, these sessions covered so many aspects of imaging leadership. I consider myself blessed to have been chosen to receive the Osborn Scholarship for this virtual conference. This scholarship provided me the opportunity to receive valuable educational information on being a successful imaging leader that I may not have otherwise received. Thank you to AHRA for providing this conference, and I look forward to attending future education sessions to help me become a more effective imaging leader.

Chad Smith, BA, RT(R)(CT)(MR) is the director of radiology at Riverview Regional Medical Center. He can be reached at Chad.smith@lpnt.net.

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