By Donna R. Morris, CRA, BS, R.T. (R) (MR)
As a Commissioner on the Radiology Certification Commission (RACC), it is fun to think about writing these articles to hopefully inspire and motivate you to achieve the CRA credential. The RACC meets monthly to review our annual goals, the progress we are making and to seek opportunities to serve our fellow CRA’s in the best way possible. We take our work seriously and are committed to excellence as your elected representatives. When I think about that, it is not too terribly different than what we all do as healthcare leaders for our respective organizations each day.
The current environment with the COVID-19 pandemic has afforded challenges to all of us. We have had to reach deep into our creative selves to find alternate ways of working, leading, and providing outstanding care to all who seek our services. We have been asked to make some tough decisions as volume and revenues decline while expenses are not tracking accordingly. Much needed projects and initiatives may have been put on hold indefinitely in order to re-prioritize what is necessary versus what can be deferred.
You and your team may be going through many emotions that can range from gratitude and pride for your chosen profession to anxiety, fear and frustration about personal and professional situations you have been presented with. Some of these emotions can all occur in one day. But, we are a tenacious and resilient group of imaging professionals and I am confident that we will grow and persevere through it all.
You are probably wondering why at this moment you should be thinking about obtaining the CRA. It is a fair amount of work to study and prepare for the certification exam. The thing to consider is that obtaining the CRA is a process. Much of what you are experiencing affords you the opportunity to tap into all the domains of Human Resource Management, Asset Resource Management, Fiscal Management, Operations Management, and Communication and Information Management. While you are actively applying your current level of knowledge, I am confident that you have learned new things and have been presented with situations through this crisis that you may not otherwise have been exposed to.
The AHRA Forum is a great place for leaders to share ideas and support one another. There have been articles written for the Radiology Management journal whose contributors graciously share their firsthand experiences with all of us. I know I have appreciated all the posts, articles, and connections I have made over the time I have been a member of AHRA and as a CRA. I have learned so much from all of you and there is still so much to learn.
Keep the goal of obtaining the CRA on your radar. You will know when the time is right for you to earn the credential and we will be here to cheer you on!
C – Commitment: review the application process and requirements. Commit to a timeline for submitting the application and setting a date to take the exam. We understand that there are challenges with testing and things are changing dynamically. If you have any questions, please contact us and you will receive a timely response. We are here to help.
R – Readiness: obtain study materials, set aside time each week to learn something new; take a practice exam, and access some content experts that would be happy to help you prepare. I am certain there are peers in the AHRA as well as in your own organization that would be happy to assist you with any questions you may have.
A – Act: access the AHRA website for updated test dates, submit the application and go for it. You can do it, you are amazing, and never lose sight of what you CAN accomplish.
In closing, I am humbled and blessed each day in ways I could never have imagined. Thank you for the work you are doing for your loved ones, your community, and those you work alongside each day. I pray you have continued good health and stay safe. #inthistogether
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.