The “Ah Ha” Moment

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Angie McDonaldBy Angelic P. Bush, MSRS, CRA, RT, FAHRA

Here we are in the month of Valentines! Whether you celebrated it with the one you love or, as I have done several times in the past, as “singles awareness day,” the one thing that we often think of during this month is love. So, as I sit to write this article, I am thinking of passion- not of the heart, but of the soul. Instead of that first kiss I am thinking of that first “ah ha” moment when a new imaging leader discovers that they have real value in hospital management; that moment that defines their future in imaging leadership and makes them stand up a bit straighter and find that AUDACITY. It brings with it a sense of pride, respect, and a passion for our profession as imaging leaders.

I had that moment a few years back when I was faced with a mammography department that for years had been in the red for productivity. I had recently inherited this department, so now it was my responsibility to figure out why. I made my plan of attack. It involved first spending time watching and observing the day to day operations, then gathering all of the financials and productivity measures, and then finally talking to my peers in that department and understanding the environment in which they worked. Puzzlingly, nothing looked off. The problem didn’t make sense.

In short, over the course of a weekend I discovered that the actual problem was that the productivity measure for the department was set to one value, but the system was pulling a different one. After dancing a small jig around the house, I made an appointment with the director of finance for Monday morning, and soon after we were not only in the green, we received approval to add another FTE.

What made the difference in this story? I was not just a number cruncher, but a clinical leader with years spent as a technologist in imaging. I didn’t shy away from being lean but I also had the clinical experience to lean on that told me what I was being asked to do was not “hard” but flat out impossible even in the best situations. So, something in the numbers did have to be off. Then I didn’t throw the ball in the air and simply declare there was a problem with the numbers, I took ownership of the problem and made it my responsibility to find out what was off.

Why am I so passionate about AHRA? Because AHRA has taught me what to look for, what to ask for, and how to merge my years of clinical experience with business acumen and financial language to translate that to my finance and administrative teams.

I have been blessed to have seen that same light come on in so many others, and with each light I reclaim my own passion. So, my letter to you this month is a love note. Find your passion, and pass that torch on so that others can find it as well. Keep that “ah ha moment” close to your heart and know the value you bring.

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

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