By Donna R. Morris, CRA, BS, R.T. (R) (MR)
The AHRA chose “Imaging Superheroes” as the 2018 theme for National Radiologic Technology Week. This theme resonated with me and inspired my Halloween costume for our work celebrations. It was such fun to dress up in my skeleton onesie, with my red cape and sparkly logo on the back. I felt proud to be greeted with smiles and words of thanks for the important work our department does to help our patients and support other healthcare providers. Plus, it was just plain fun!
My Superhero journey began with graduation from radiography school and achieving my ARRT certification. That pin and gold seal were badges of pride. They gave me confidence and validated that I understood and could apply the science and techniques I learned to provide superb care to my patients.
While I truly enjoyed my days as a clinical caregiver, I found myself driven toward leadership. Taking advantage of professional learning opportunities helped me on my journey and provided me with tools (aka superpowers) to compliment my clinical experience and expertise. As part of that process, I joined the AHRA in 2006 so I could learn from and network with other leaders in order to sharpen those tools.
In 2007, a good friend and mentor encouraged me to take the CRA certification exam. I did some research and found I could satisfy the eligibility requirements, obtain study materials through the AHRA and get started. I must admit I was a little intimidated and there was a fear of failure. It was sort of like deciding to go to the gym; walking in for the first time is the hardest part!
I recall taking the practice test online and not doing so well. Instead of being discouraged and giving up, the experience humbled and challenged me to focus on key areas to improve my strengths. Isn’t that what Superheroes do?
I contacted my Superhero peers and asked them to share their experience and expertise. What I found was a group of people who were more than happy to come to my aid and support me toward becoming a CRA. Don’t all superheroes come together and help one another?
I spoke with other imaging leaders in my organization and found a partner who also wanted to achieve her CRA. We worked together, shared study materials, attended the CRA workshop at the annual meeting, scheduled our test date and as a team worked toward our goal. When test day finally came, we walked into the testing center and accepted the challenge. The only thing left was to wait for our results to arrive in the mail. It was a very proud moment to open our envelopes and realize we had earned our leadership superpower as CRA’s. And the pin is pretty cool too!
I encourage you to consider earning the CRA credential and receive validation of your knowledge and competencies in the five domains of human resources, asset management, finance, operations and communication and information management. You’ll be joining a group of more than 1100 superheroes, who together, are helping to shape the future of imaging.
Donna R. Morris, CRA, BS, R.T. (R) (MR) is the Administrative Director of Hospital Imaging Services at Mary Washington Healthcare in Fredericksburg, VA. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.