By Eric Kallstrom, MBA, FACVP, FASE
If you ask any diagnostic imaging pioneer in our field about their journey into healthcare, they will all tell you that this is their calling. Regardless of any healthcare specialty, patient care requires a certain finesse, both intellectually and socially. We all understand that we are not just the eyes and ears of both the ordering and interpreting physician. As imaging professionals, we wear multiple hats while patients are under our care. As we understand which proverbial hat to put on, such as a healthcare provider, investigator, or simply a shoulder to lean on for a patient going through a rough day, knowing our “why” sets us up for success during each patient encounter and being a member of the AHRA will help facilitate this.
A wise person once said, “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” I believe that this holds true in advancing our own professional careers in imaging as leaders and technologists. Healthcare is a calling to many professionals in our field. There are a variety of reasons why healthcare professionals find themselves in their current position. Rediscovering (or discovering for the first time) our healthcare “why” instills passion in the work that we do. We should take a minute for a quick introspection every so often and revisit our “why” of why/how we arrived in healthcare as our career of choice. Remolding ourselves to be the best version of ourselves is an evolving process that pays dividends in the form of engaged/empowered staff, ultimately leading to improved patient care, which should be the end goal for every healthcare professional regardless of specialty/modality.
One avenue to continually grow yourself into the healthcare professional that staff and patients can lean on is committed membership through the AHRA. After finding your “why” the resources within the AHRA will exponentially grow your potential to become the best version of yourself. With a membership of over 5,000 and growing, the AHRA sets the trusted standard for imaging leaders in providing quality care, innovative use of technologies, and best practices in medical imaging management. These resources are invaluable in the pursuit to improve the diagnostic imaging world around you.
I fully believe in the vision and mission of the AHRA and what it stands for. With a large part of imaging leaders set to retire in the coming years, our hospitals and healthcare clinics will be searching for motivated individuals who have a passion for management/leadership across many institutions and ambulatory clinics. The AHRA has all the tools necessary to empower individuals with the skill set to become a trusted leader in his or her organization. As a leader of a noninvasive cardiology imaging operation, I feel obligated to give my staff and our patients my all. As an AHRA member, new doors are unlocked that provide opportunities that I wouldn’t otherwise be exposed to as a non-member. By becoming a member of a committee or task force with lasting effects on AHRA initiatives; as an author/reader of an article for Radiology Management or Link, or by networking with thousands of other imaging professionals at local or national AHRA conferences, AHRA members are provided no shortage of opportunities to finely tune their potential for success.
I fully endorse becoming a member of the AHRA and growing yourself professionally in the reflection of your “why.” This “why” may be because one of your family members is in a similar position as you. Perhaps your “why” is because you are a patient yourself and have seen the impact that radiology imaging professionals have had on your life. Whatever your “why” is, the AHRA is here to support your goals and ambitions of reinventing yourself into a well-rounded imaging professional that can handle the daily challenges in the perpetually evolving landscape of diagnostic imaging.
Eric Kallstrom, MBA, FACVP, FASE is the Manager of non-invasive Cardiology at Baylor Scott & White Health in Plano, TX. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.