Written by Jose E. Rodriguez, MHA, BSRS, RT(R)(CT)(QM), CRA, CHFP
Like many of you, I feel privileged to have found medical imaging as a career. I have truly enjoyed every moment as a technologist, but I knew early on that I wanted to be a leader in the field. After serving six years in the military as a technologist, I ventured into the civilian world and felt as green as a new graduate especially since I hadn’t taken a single registry yet. I started validating my skills as a technologist by earning my ARRT certifications1 in Radiography, followed by Computed Tomography, then followed by Quality Management over the course of a few years, but I felt that it wasn’t the path I needed to be on.
That’s when I reconnected with a prior military leader of mine who introduced me to the AHRA where I learned about the Certified Radiology Administrator (CRA) credential. I immediately knew I needed to add this to my goals list. After several months of studying and preparation I certified as a CRA in 2013. I felt validated, but still inexperienced, as a leader.
Earning the CRA provided opportunities from that point forward that I assure would not have been available to me yet because of my lack of leadership experience. I moved into my first role as an Imaging Director the very next year for small specialty hospital. There were times I felt that I wasn’t ready for the role, but the AHRA provided me with an immense amount of support. The online networking, in-person networking, educational presentations, Radiology Management Journal, Link Articles, and more provided me with every resource I needed to succeed. As part of the leadership team, we succeeded in earning our Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) 5 Star Rating2 just a few years later.
The CRA credential opened the doors for opportunity and the support of the AHRA helped me succeed. In the years since, I have moved into a much larger role as the Director of Imaging for the only Level 1 Trauma facility in our region. I knew at this point I needed to start giving back and began volunteering. I wanted to help provide others the opportunities and support that I was given. I have been molding technologists by speaking to imaging programs and modifying curriculums to expand scope and recognition of what a technologist is capable of. Recently, I’ve begun focusing my efforts on growing leaders in the industry by advocating for the benefits of the CRA credential to technologists at all points in their careers.
It has been a few years, and volunteering has helped me grow as a leader more than I could have ever realized and, for me, it all started with my CRA. I encourage each of you reading this who wish to grow as leaders to add the CRA credential to your goals and as always I am and every member of the AHRA are here to help you every step of the way.
Jose E. Rodriguez, MHA, BSRS, RT(R)(CT)(QM), CRA, CHFP is the Director of Imaging, University Medical Center of El Paso. He can be reached at (915) 319-1292 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Biography: Jose Rodriguez has been in the field of medical imaging for 20+ years. He has served in the wartime military and worked in various facilities from outpatient military and civilian clinics to freestanding emergency centers to Level 1 Trauma hospitals. He holds a Master’s in Healthcare Administration with a focus on Innovation and Quality Management plus a Bachelor’s of Science in Radiologic Science. He also serves as a very active volunteer for various local (West Texas), state, and national organizations.
References: 1Credential options. ARRT. https://www.arrt.org/pages/earn-arrt-credentials/credential-options. Accessed March 25, 2022. 2HCAHPS star ratings. https://hcahpsonline.org/en/hcahps-star-ratings. Accessed March 25, 202