By Angelic P. Bush, MSRS, CRA, RT, FAHRA
I would like to wish all of my AHRA family a very Merry Christmas! I hope you will be surrounded by family, friends, and lots of great food! For our military AHRA members, I can’t say thank you enough for protecting our country and the sacrifices you and your families make to do so. We are family, and know that you are all in our thoughts and prayers, and I wish you the very best this holiday season.
During this time of year, many of us think about spending time with family, having our own special celebrations, and the traditional opening of gifts. This month I’d like to talk about gifts; not necessarily the gifts that we can’t wait to rip the wrapping paper off of, but those gifts called “opportunities.”
Have you ever had an opportunity stare you in the face, yet you didn’t recognize it? Maybe you have passed on an opportunity for one reason or another, whether it be a career choice, family choice, or other. You decided that the opportunity was not the right fit for one reason or another, or you may not have been audacious enough to step out of the comfort zone that you or someone else defined for you.
I want to share with you the importance of listening to your gut when these opportunities arise and not letting others define you. Some of you may know I have two wonderful children, Zavier and Lexi. When they were younger, I was offered a job to run a free standing imaging center. I respected the radiologists I’d be working with, and it would take me from working at a small hospital to a M-F, 8-5, no call, no holiday, no weekend role (or so they said). I should also mention that I was going to make more money and be closer to home. As a mother of two small children, it should have been a no brainer, right?
I don’t know why, maybe it was a lack of confidence in myself to be completely responsible for the entire site, or maybe it was leaving the amazing team I had been with so many years, but something kept eating at my gut. Call it my spiritual angel guiding me, or fear, but I didn’t feel like it was the right opportunity for me at that time.
Many colleagues, friends, and even my family could not believe I allowed this opportunity to get away from me. I received so much ribbing about it that it caused me to question my reasoning and second guess myself. By not going with what society expected of me, I felt like I was letting everyone down. But just a few weeks later, the other shoe fell. My then 3-year-old daughter Lexi was diagnosed with leukemia, and we embarked on a 5-year journey to recovery. That journey alone was the greatest challenge and opportunity of our lives, but to have gone through that with a new team, new role, and new responsibilities would have been devastating. Having my long standing work family around me during that time really made the difference for me. Endless hospital visits, lumbar punctures, and transfusions later she is in complete remission and a stronger, more confident and fearless young lady for having gone through that.
I share this story with you because opportunities are gifts, whether they are good opportunities or challenges. They allow us to make choices, and in doing so, we define who we are and the person we are to become.
At the Annual Meeting in Anaheim, I spoke about having the audacity to take the next step in your career and to not be afraid of failure because it is still about learning and moving forward. Do not silo yourself because it’s what you are comfortable with. I want to remind you that this goes both ways. Do not let others define what success is for you. Find out what makes you happy, and feed your soul with it regularly. You will be stronger and more passionate in all you do. As imaging leaders, this is the nourishment our teams need: leaders with passion, purpose, and direction.
Your next opportunity is right before you: the opportunity to feed your imaging soul by participating with industry leaders from across the country at our Spring Conference, March 22-24 in New Orleans. Here, surrounded by friends, you will not only get to reconnect and network with your imaging family, but also share with each other what challenges you are facing and get ideas and insights on how to overcome them. Because we ARE all in this together!
On a personal note, you may have noticed that my last name has changed. I have many things to be happy for this season, and celebrating it as Mrs. Bush is just one of them. Merry Christmas! Enjoy the season, and I hope to see you in New Orleans. A family reunion is definitely needed.
Angelic P. Bush, 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.