By Carmen H. Taylor, RT(R)
I am incredibly honored to have been chosen as one of the Annual Meeting Osborn Scholarship recipients. Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to be a part of the AHRA Annual Meeting! My director, Wes Harden, helped make this possible with his encouragement. When he heard that I had received the scholarship, he was just as excited as I was!
I am particularly appreciative of AHRA for enabling me to pursue my goal of obtaining the CRA by offering the CRA Exam Workshop at the Annual Meeting. Knowing that there is this kind of support out there helping to assist the radiology community in their educational pursuits is incredible. AHRA membership needs to be a part of every radiology department, whether it is in a hospital or an outpatient setting.
In 2015, one of my co-workers, Lauren Northam, received the Osborn Scholarship and was able to attend the Spring Conference in Orlando, FL. I remember her talking about how much she enjoyed the meeting and how there were a lot of educational opportunities to take advantage of. She probably doesn’t know this, but she is the reason I took the chance and applied for the Osborn Scholarship – I wanted to experience what she had!
When I applied for the Osborn scholarship, I had to complete several questions that touched on my expectations for the meeting. Here are a couple of the questions, my answers, and my actual experiences at the meeting:
1. What do you expect to gain from participation in this AHRA educational opportunity that will help your career in management?
My expectation: As a radiology supervisor, the Certified Radiology Administrator (CRA) credential is very valuable. It is not easily attained, and there are certain requirements you need to meet prior to even taking the examination. “It is the only professional credential tailored specifically for radiology administrators, focusing on management in human resources, asset resources, finance, operations, and communication.” I believe this type of certification will open many doors of opportunity and help me become more marketable.
My experience: The CRA Exam Workshop was well organized and focused on how to look at practice test questions and answers. We learned how to look for key words and narrow down the choices.
2. How will the knowledge and connections you make at the conference help you grow in your position when you return?
My expectation: Networking is important as you will be able to talk with others that are in the same field and gain different perspectives. It is very important to listen to others from different hospitals and see if there are any opportunities to improve what you are already doing. Best of all you meet some genuinely great people who care!
My experience: It was incredible to be able to network and bounce ideas off of each other. You get to meet people from all over the country and some from outside of the US. I exchanged contact information with several other members, and since I have been back I have heard from a few of them.
A big “thank you” to AHRA for opening up so many doors and allowing me to experience everything I have heard about. I was introduced to AHRA by my previous director, Ed Yoder, in 2013. Ed and I started working at Lexington Medical Center on the same day. Ed was definitely a family man – he spoke of them often, and when he did, it was with great pride. Another one of Ed’s passions was AHRA. Within a couple of months, he had all of the supervisors signed up for membership. AHRA now offers the Ed Yoder Memorial Scholarship for the Fall Conference, and it is very special to know that someone will receive this conference attendance opportunity in honor of such a dedicated leader. Thank you to my mentor and friend, Ed Yoder; I will forever be grateful to you for introducing me to this incredible organization.
Thank you also to Lauren Northam, for your encouraging and enthusiastic article on your experience at the 2015 Spring Conference; and to Wes Harden, who continues to encourage us all to embrace everything AHRA has to offer, especially the CRA certification!
Carmen H. Taylor RT(R) is the radiology supervisor at Lexington Medical Center in West Columbia, SC. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.