By Kimberly Evans, MS, FABC, CRA, RT(R)(M)
As 2020 draws to a close, I encourage CRAs and Imaging leaders to stop and look back on the unprecedented challenge we not only confronted but endured. This endurance required knowledge, flexibility, adaptation, creativity, courage, and perseverance. These traits may very well define the job responsibilities of a Certified Radiology Administrator or CRA. While the processes and learning opportunities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic have come from our combined experiences, education, and situational needs, CRAs stepped up to lead and navigate change guided by professional values and behaviors to address the crisis while planning for the ever-changing future.
One word that well describes the journey over this past year is resilience. Resilience is defined in Merriam Webster as the ability to recover from or adjust easily to adversity or change. It was not always easy, but we adjusted. Resilience also means the ability to effectively navigate challenges and leverage them as learning opportunities. In my organization at ChristianaCare, as part of our system value of excellence, we are encouraged to be curious and continually look for ways to innovate while seeking new knowledge, asking for feedback, and being open to change. Throughout 2020, change management and innovation was critical and each have become even more important skills for the CRA. I predict we will look back and realize that these values and skills were instrumental as we navigated this defining moment for Radiology leaders.
The CRA credential is a testament and affirmation of core foundational knowledge across the five domains of Imaging leadership. Leadership draws on knowledge and experience in each of these areas. These domains include Human Resource Management, Asset Resource Management, Fiscal Management, Operations Management, and Communication and Information Management. Understanding and use of the competencies in each of these domain areas was especially vital for CRAs during this challenging year.
You might ask, “Why now?” or “Why me?” when considering the CRA credential. Advanced credentials have become assumed and expected in our clinical modalities. The same high standard should also be embraced and recognized for the Certified Radiology Administrator. As a CRA this past year, I have drawn on my career knowledge significantly and appreciate now more than ever the value of the exam eligibility requirements specific to experience. Eligibility for the CRA exam includes 7-10 years of progressive experience in management, supervisory roles or administrative experience in radiology or medical imaging with responsibility for activities across each of the five domain areas. Each domain content area is divided into tasks expected of a Radiology Administrator. Expected tasks include experience drivers such as establish, develop, implement, manage, create and forecast to name a few.
For more information on the specific CRA domains and examination content areas, visit www.crainfo.org and select the Future CRA tab. This list of competencies has been most helpful to me in evaluating my personal growth as a leader in addition to obtaining my CRA credential. As we begin 2021, the next CRA examination is scheduled for May and there is no better time to commit to your own professional development as you prepare to become a CRA!
Kim Evans, MS, FABC, CRA, RT(R)(M) is the Vice President of Imaging at ChristianaCare in Newark, DE. She can be reached at KEvans@christianacare.org