By Curtis R. Bush, FACHE, MBA, CRA
As we moved from 2017 into 2018, many of us thought about our New Year’s resolutions: things that we want to accomplish, improve upon, or just do differently in the New Year. I have never been a huge proponent of New Year’s resolutions – why wait until January 1 to make an improvement or difference in your life?
This year, my resolution began on December 31 and it was to not freak out and fall to my death while descending the walls of the Grand Canyon on a mule…for those of you that don’t know, I am severely afraid of heights. Well not really heights, it’s falling to my death by means outside of my control that really bothers me. Regardless, mission accomplished, we got down and back up without incident. Thanks, Norman (he was my mule).
As I mentioned in my last article, I had the fortunate opportunity to participate in the nomination interviews for potential RACC commissioners. I also have the fortunate experience of having a new CRA in our health system and recently took the opportunity to interview him about what achieving the CRA credential means to him and his career. Gerard Wilson is the Imaging Manager of Baylor Scott and White Medical Center Round Rock.
First, I asked him if he thought that passing the CRA exam had given him more credibility. Gerard stated, “Yes, as a newly promoted manager, I feel that the CRA credential has given me a lot of credibility. Due to the rigorous exam standards and how few CRAs are currently present in our healthcare system, I believe that it has set me apart from my peers and highlighted the standard of excellence that I strive for.”
Next, I asked, “Do you plan on promoting or mentoring some of your direct reports to achieve the CRA credential?” He responded that he does plan on advocating for the credential. He is currently mentoring his three supervisors and a colleague from a sister hospital on the benefits and importance of the CRA. Most of them plan to take the CRA exam in May of this year. He said that he has also assigned them specific projects that relate to the required learning for the exam and that he will be hosting biweekly study sessions/focus groups in preparation for the exam.
I noted that he was recognized at the 2017 AHRA Annual Meeting as a CRA Exam Scholarship recipient and as a new CRA. Since it was his first Annual Meeting, I asked him what the three most important things that he took away from the meeting were, and if having his CRA credential provided him with talking points as he was developing his network.
Gerard’s response was, “The three most important things that I took away from the meeting were:
- I could visualize the wide array of opportunities that can come with being a radiology leader. I met people who began as imaging leaders and are now hospital administrators, HR VPs, PACS admins, and the list goes on.
- I learned that I am a member of a massive network of imaging leaders who not only have the competency to assist me with almost any issue that may arise, but they stand ready and willing to aid a new leader (like myself) and have a vested interest in my success and personal development.
- The Annual Meeting was fun! As imaging leaders, we are faced with various levels of stress, workloads, and tasks. The conference was an excellent opportunity to unwind from the daily routine of work while meeting great people and learning tons of useful information. It truly added value to my personal development and career. I am already planning to attend this year’s conference.
I believe that having my CRA was an advantage for me in developing my network. The CRA pin itself was an icebreaker that opened conversations with individuals who I otherwise may have thought had nothing in common with me. AHRA does an excellent job of highlighting the importance of the exam and made CRAs feel honored. If I didn’t have my CRA at the Annual Meeting, I would be working on it before the next one.”
As leaders in healthcare, we all are challenged with identifying opportunities for improvement with for our teams and ourselves, whether it is achieving a new credential or certification or mentoring a colleague. Gerard is a fitting example of what AHRA represents and the resolve necessary to take the next step to improve yourself. January 1 has come and gone, but I encourage you to take the next few moments to commit to something that will improve you, your team, or your organization this year. There is no need to wait until next New Years for important improvements to take place.
Be successful, audacious, and prosperous in 2018 my friends!
Curtis R. Bush, FACHE, MBA, CRA is the director of imaging services at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, TX. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.