By Brenda Debastiani, MBA, CRA, FAHRA
Have you ever heard that “time flies when you’re having fun”? Wow is that true! It has already been a little over 1 month since I accepted the honor of being your AHRA president, yet it seems like it was just yesterday. There is a lot going on! The AHRA new strategic plan was finalized by the task force, and it will be introduced to the AHRA Board of Directors for approval next week. Once approved, I am very excited to see the initiatives that the AHRA staff members develop to meet this five-year strategic plan with a ten-year vision. The textbook task force has been extremely busy, with the authors completing their revisions and the editors making final versions. We recently held a post-AHRA annual meeting “wrap up” call, where the design team, AHRA staff, and Conference Managers discussed what went well at the annual meeting and where there were opportunities for improvements. We will consider our discussions to make improvements for next year’s annual meeting. The 50th AHRA anniversary task force is making plans for special events for next year’s annual meeting. Again, there is a lot going on as those are just a few highlights!
Personally, I cannot believe that I am already 2 weeks into my new job at Bravera Health Spring Hill. Everyone has been so welcoming and helpful. They truly have a culture of safety and teamwork! While it feels like I have been “drinking from a fire hose” with all of the information that I have been given, I am feeling very good about my progress. I was given great advice by Dan Kelsey, AHRA CEO, to read a book entitled “The First 90 Days”, by Michael D. Watkins. That book has guided me to ask the right questions which will allow me to learn as much as possible as well as “get me up to speed” more quickly.
I shared in my last month’s LINK article that I have set personal goals to “reinvent myself”. To be transparent, I am doing well on meeting 2/3 of my personal goals. 1) I have been to the fitness center multiple times (the elliptical has become my favorite), so I have definitely increased my physical activity. 2) I have been to the beach several times, which is meeting my “spending time in my happy place” goal. 3) I have been working some long hours, so I’m not exactly meeting my “better work-life balance” goal yet. I have been careful not to check emails around the clock, which is an improvement. So, let’s just say that this goal is a work in progress. (I knew I had better “confess”, or my husband would tell on me for not meeting this goal!)
Now you know I must ask since my last article, what have YOU done to take better care of yourself? Have you given some thought to making even small changes to better “fill your cup” so that you can better take care of yourself and others? Journaling is a great way to gain a positive attitude and feel better about yourself. Before you leave work each day, please take a moment to write down three positive things that happened to you that day. (On my first day of work last week, I wrote down these three positive things: 1) I found the “sister-hospital” where I had my new employee orientation (located several miles away); 2) At new employee orientation, I met two new individuals who had a lot in common with me; and 3) Since new employee orientation ended early in the day, I was able to swing by “my hospital” to meet several Technologists. (They were all very nice and welcoming.) On Friday, at the end of my first week, I wrote down the following in my journal: 1) I was able to navigate through multiple new systems at work to complete my daily charge audit tasks quickly; 2) I had meaningful conversations to build relationships with technologists and radiologists; and 3) I was able to tour the department and reeducate staff on expectations to meet Joint Commission requirements, where needed (i.e. no cardboard boxes, no expired cleaning wipes, no uncovered linen). As you can see, my positive journaling has moved a little deeper in just a few days. I have been focusing on remaining positive, learning, and growing. Journaling helps me focus. Our minds believe what we tell ourselves, so we must focus on positive and constructive thoughts (avoiding negative-speak, self-doubt and rumination). To be resilient, we must continue “filling our cups” so that we can take care of ourselves and be strong leaders for our teams.
As we watch technologist staffing challenges across the country, we need to continue helping our existing teams by being compassionate and strong; but we also must remain forward focused. What can we do to help individuals want to become technologists and lead imaging departments in the future? Let’s share positive stories with our friends, families, and teams so that others want to work in imaging and want to become managers. Without saying a word, people can feel the energy that we exude (positive or negative). We need our vibes to be positive when we speak about healthcare. We are all overwhelmed with “putting out fires” every day, but we need to make sure that we take time to see all the good that we, and our teams, accomplish every day in spite of the stressors that we encounter. Patients depend on all of us. Our employees’ families are impacted by our leadership. We need to remember that we are making a difference in our employees’ and their families’ lives by our actions and attitudes.
Next year’s AHRA CLIMB spring meeting will be February 24-26, 2023 in San Diego, CA. The 2023 AHRA Annual meeting will be July 9-12 in Indianapolis, IN. I hope to see you in person there. Until then, I will continue my journey to “reinvent myself” and share my trials along the way. I hope that I inspire you to evaluate yourself and make positive changes to live a healthier life, as well as make a positive impact on those that you lead. I have already received multiple messages from readers to cheer me on and to share personal stories. If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, please reach out to me at Brenda.email@example.com.
Brenda Debastiani is the AHRA 2022-2023 President and can be reached at the email address above.