Being an Advocate for Your Profession
Posted November 10, 2014
By Kevin L. Rush, M.H.A., R.T.(R)(T), FASRT
Last week was an interesting week for me. I had an opportunity to present to my daughter’s radiology class at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (Go, Salukis!) and then a group of technologists here in Cincinnati. The topics were about the ASRT and ARRT and the same question popped up in conversation at both locations: “I would like to get more involved. How do I do that?” That’s an easy question (and I like those!), and I shall answer it shortly. However, it made me think of a more basic question that needs to be answered first: Why should I be more involved?
All the volunteers, staff and officers of the ASRT Board made their way to those positions in different ways, but the calling is fundamentally the same: giving back to the profession that has given us so much. The goal is to boost the profession in our own unique ways so as to leave it better than we found it. This can be done by giving voice to the professionals who are R.T.s and to the patients we serve.
That voice is advocacy and it is what the ASRT does on our behalf. The ASRT allows all the disparate voices within the profession to come together and present that message in a powerful manner. Much as hearing someone sing solo is enjoyable, the voices of a choir in unison bring a richer, deeper feeling and meaning. For instance, should I contact my state or national congressional member and speak my thoughts, he or she would likely thank me for my comment and move along. I am but one. However, if the ASRT calls and is speaking on behalf of 150,000+ members and representing over 300,000 registered technologists, that will warrant more than a “thank you.”
This brings us back to why one should become an advocate for our profession. Simply put, if you do not then you’re allowing others to speak for you. Each position the ASRT takes on our behalf may not be agreed to by all the members. However, the ASRT provides a forum where those oppositional voices can be heard, their points discussed and, believe it or not, changes are made based upon that voice. As the ASRT advocates to others for our profession, you can be assured that you can advocate to the ASRT about your thoughts and seek change just as the ASRT does.
Advocacy is nothing more than speaking your piece in forceful yet respectful manner. That is something that all of us can do. Our individual perspectives and experiences are the reasons each of us should advocate for our profession. And that brings us back to the original point regarding how one gets involved. Here’s where everyone can get started: http://www.asrt.org/volunteers.
Thanks for stopping by and reading. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving,