How Do You Define a Professional?

Georgann Bruski, RT(R), CRT, ARRT, Manager, Invasive Cardiology
Georgann Bruski, RT(R), CRT, ARRT, Manager, Invasive Cardiology
For as many years as I can remember, nurses and technologists have all clamored that they are professionals and should be treated as professionals. All of the credentialing agencies for nursing, radiology and cardiology have set minimum standards required for continuing education necessary for annual and biannual license renewal. Does simply acquiring the necessary continuing education required qualify you as a professional? It is a great start, but I think a professional must go deeper. You must practice your profession daily and give something back to your profession as well. It is through this practice and sharing that we are all able to benefit continuously and improve our profession over time. It is great accomplishment to be a fantastic caregiver and patient advocate, but you also need to step out of your hospital medical center and see what is happening in the world around you as well as share you accomplishments and errors (dues, is what people call it). Communication and the exchange of ideas are the principle that the AMA, ACC, RSNA, ACCN AHRA and the ACVP were founded upon. It is the idea that together, we can learn from each other, share information and improve the quality of healthcare as well as our profession. Instead of constantly reinventing the wheel, we can improve it together! It takes every one of us to join our peers and have representation of our goals and ideals. You cannot rely on others to communicate what you know and what you need to learn. Admittedly, it is easier to sit at home and take online CEU programs. But the education you can receive by listening and exchanging ideas and practices in person is invaluable. In my experience, there are people out there that have already tackled issues that are just surfacing in my department. Besides sharing with your peers, you can better assess vendor performance. Vendor performance is so much easier to track if you can sit down and meet someone that already has that new PACS system installed and find out about any pitfalls of the go-live. There is much more, though, than simply exchanging ideas. It is well-known and documented that by working together, we can set the course of the future. The U.S. Constitution was put together in Philadelphia at a meeting with all the great leaders in one room. That is what we professionals must do forge the future and set course for the right direction to take our departments and organizations. When I go to human resources and request a salary adjustment, the first comment is we will do a survey. As a group, we can prepare for these types of requests. We can create and share surveys and information so that when we approach human resources…or purchasing…or the executive group, etc., we can present a broad-based picture developed from a factual composite created by the membership. There is so much to learn and teach in this field we have all identified as our path. Reprinted with permission from Cath Lab Digest 2005;13(2):18.