Posted February 26, 2013
By Donna J. Crum
In the grand scheme of things, only a few things are important in life. Your family comes first -- no matter what, family comes first. Somewhere at the top of the list I hope you find radiologic technology, which in my opinion is the best profession possible. Every day can be challenging as well as rewarding. There is always something new to research, investigate and share with other R.T.s.
If your professional world exists within the confines of your small work area, it is time to test the water and step out of your comfort zone. Everyone in your workplace knows that you are the best ever, but what about across town at Hospital XYZ? Do they know you are a great R.T. who is really proud of your profession? Does anyone know that you secretly love to draw, write or entertain? Have you found a different way to achieve a perfect lateral elbow on a trauma patient? It is time to share “you” with the rest of the radiologic technology family.
Let’s face it; we became R.T.s to work on a team of health care professionals and make a difference in patients’ lives. Joining your local radiologic technology society and actively participating will strengthen your love of your job. Sharing anecdotes about work and talking with others who understand your “language” will allow you to show who you are and what you stand for. Your fellow technologists have become your family, so you need to share your knowledge and skills with them.
Every state affiliate has a solid core of leaders who are always on the lookout for fresh talent to help make their society successful. If you love to draw, volunteer to design the next flyer announcing a CE event, or help write an introduction for the speaker. Maybe you don’t feel comfortable in front of a group but you probably have the skill to label and stuff envelopes and make nametags. Succeeding at these small but very important jobs may give you the impetus to try something a little more challenging.
Fear of the unknown can hold people back, but step out of your comfort zone one small step at a time and you may be amazed that you really do have a lot to offer your profession and “family.” Contacting possible speakers for an educational event gives you the opportunity to advocate for your profession and also learn something that you may not have the time to investigate on your own. Broaden your horizons and get out of your comfort zone. Jump into areas of your profession that you may not have realized were there at the beginning of your career. If you don’t feel that you are ready to participate in any of the activities already mentioned, stop for a moment and think about what other skills you have.
Perhaps you really enjoy surfing the Internet. As a Grass-roots Network member, contacting your senators and representatives on state issues is beneficial for your state as well as your national organization. More importantly, you could be a “watch dog” and monitor what other organizations are doing and their possible infringement on your profession. Is someone trying to run your machine without the proper training? Without vigilant members bringing this type of issue forward, state leaders may not be aware that this could be happening in their state. It takes many different people with many different talents to make a professional organization successful. State affiliates may not have large financial coffers to hire graphic design experts, secretaries or writers, but a radiologic technologist with a few basic skills and talents can make a difference in any state affiliate.
Making a difference in your profession gives you the most amazing feeling. Each new family member brings knowledge and skills that can help strengthen the family. We don’t expect experts but we do expect committed members who want to contribute. Stretch your wings and share a little bit of you with your radiologic technology family.
I hope to see you in June at the Annual Governance and House of Delegates Meeting in Albuquerque, N.M. Attend a meeting and talk with people from across the country. Listen to your chosen leaders from state affiliates and perhaps you will see or hear something that perks your interest and will help you become more involved. Remember, family comes first and as a dedicated ASRT member you are part of a very large family.