By Shirley Douglass, BS, RT(R)
When I first heard about Partners in Learning, I thought it sounded like a very interesting program. It reminded me of a foreign exchange student program – a radiology healthcare administrator is sent to a different facility for a few days to help them expand their knowledge in radiology management. My trip to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), was an amazing visit. This hospital is doing amazing research and using new technologies to diagnose children. As a new director of radiology education and operations, I was ready to learn and gain new knowledge in the operations domain, but I also gained knowledge in other areas such as fiscal and asset management and even education.
I was welcomed warmly at CHOP, and they made me feel at home each day. The senior director, Chris Tomlinson, was great. I really enjoyed learning from and spending time with the staff, and I learned new methodologies to apply at my hospital, such as shared governance. CHOP uses this methodology for the staff to own and be accountable for problems and processes, which cultivates team work.
I felt very comfortable asking questions, and the CHOP staff also asked me questions about how we do things at Medstar. Even though they are a pediatric facility and my hospital is not, I found that we have many similarities in the things we do, and we were able to learn from each other. They also made sure I was able to see some ground breaking technologies and procedures. My favorites were watching an ultrasound contrast study and seeing the MEG Lab. Being able to witness the research being done on autism touched my heart. My youngest brother has autism, and knowing radiology is being used in research to find a cure for it really touched me.
The Partners in Learning program fosters new networking relationships between radiology professionals and medical organizations. I highly recommend this program to any new imaging administrator or new manager. AHRA does a great job of setting you up with a facility to meet your needs. I can’t thank the staff at CHOP enough for their warm hospitality and for taking me in as one of their own – they made me feel like I was part of the team for the week I spent there. I also want to thank the AHRA Education Foundation and GE for giving me this opportunity to expand my knowledge in leadership.
Shirley Douglass, BS, RT(R) is the director of radiology education and operations at Medstar Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.