By Angelic P. McDonald, MSRS, CRA, RT, FAHRA
As I approached this pivotal year, one of my biggest fears was the monthly Link articles expected of an AHRA president (those who know the real Angie know that I am an introvert to my core). A great piece of advice given to me from AHRA’s outstanding Deb Murphy was to simply tell a story. Now that is something I do very well!
Throughout the year I am going to tell you, my friends, a series of short stories called “The Legacy of Mentorship.” The purpose is to tell the stories of the many small yet pivotal milestones (one word of encouragement, one nudge, one shove) that move someone into roles bigger than they ever considered for themselves, and all the lives that were affected from that one encounter.
I believe in the domino effect, and I am not sure that you, my AHRA family, truly realize just how much power you wield. My year as your president will be dedicated to pointing that out. You are a powerful association, you are motion, and you are a force to be reckoned with. You make the introvert take center stage, you demand the attention of a board room, you carry a hospital or organization’s financial well-being, and you change lives. You have certainly changed mine.
One subtle (or sometimes not so subtle) nudge at a time, over the many years with the AHRA you were molding a president. My hope is that you will see yourself in one of these stories and know YOU made the difference in not only changing my life, but in steering an entire association.
My first story is that of finding AHRA. Do you remember who told you about AHRA? I do. I was a new, first-time supervisor, and I didn’t know what the heck I was doing! Either by default (primarily) or intention, I found myself the MRI supervisor of a small community hospital in northwest Houston. I expressed my fears and concerns to my director, and she told me that there was an association I may want to get involved with called AHRA.
Although I’d never heard of AHRA, I Googled them, liked what I saw, and immediately joined. I was instantly drawn to the forum. At the time I was rewriting all of my facility’s MRI policies because The Joint Commission was coming and everything was due for revision. The problem was, I had never written a policy before – I wasn’t taught that in radiology school, and back then I didn’t have a bachelor’s degree, much less my master’s, so I had absolutely no idea how to approach this. Talk about being outside your comfort zone.
I used the AHRA resources before me and asked the forum for copies of a couple of policies. I was shocked to receive several different styles of policies within the first 24 hours! WOW! No literature review was needed. I wasn’t chastised for not knowing what I was doing. All I had to do was ask! Not only did I get multiple types of policies, I received several members’ contact information with open invitations to ask anything I needed.
I read them all, synthesized what I liked the most of each, and came up with my own style. Over the next week I stayed up late each night with a pitcher of coffee rewriting them all. My father would walk around me and question the fever and energy to which I took on this task, having never seen that type of energy within me before. I was a woman on a mission and loving every minute of it. I was empowered, I was encouraged, and I was going to succeed!
We passed our reaccreditation with flying colors, and even though my policies were never looked at that year, I knew I was ready, and that alone gave me such strength and confidence that I knew I could do the job! This was my first milestone in imaging leadership.
I will end this story with a question: do you realize that one of our future AHRA presidents may not even be a member yet? They are still waiting for you to tell them about AHRA and to advocate to them the power of partnering with others in the field. They are waiting for you to show them what it means to be a member and what the return to them could be. They are waiting for YOU to invite them to be a part of a much bigger imaging family.
Thank you to Sherry Worsham, Director of Cypress-Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital. You helped mold an imaging leader and I, along with all those I have mentored, have been forever changed!
Angelic P. McDonald, MSRS, CRA, RT, FAHRA is the 2017-2018 president of the AHRA Board of Directors. She works at Baylor Scott & White-Round Rock in Round Rock, TX and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.