Presidential Acceptance Speech
Good evening, everyone. I am honored to stand before you today as the new LSRT President. For those who do not know me, let me tell you a little bit about myself. I have been a Radiologic Technologist for 14 years, married to my husband (Joedy) for 13 years, and have 2 beautiful children (Sebastian and Felicity), and a third one (Amelia Grace) on the way. My personal priorities are faith, family, and radiology (jokingly). My career path post-graduation was to work for 2 years in order to gain experience in the imaging field and then become a travel radiologic technologist. However, that path was not meant for me. Instead, I graduated, worked at a hospital for 8 years, and then became an educator, working currently at NSU, all of which have led me to stand in front of you this evening.
I have had some great influencers throughout my journey which I would like to acknowledge and thank. I would like to thank God. He is the head of my life and who I rely on for leadership and strength. My parents, Billy and Sylvia, for encouraging me to study and work hard, learn all I can, and recognize the need to be a contributing member of society. Thanks to my husband for his love and support in following my dreams. He truly sees greatness in me where I see weakness. My mother-in-law, Connie, for being a counselor when needed. My kids for being my biggest cheerleaders and the driving force in all things that I do.
Professionally, I would like to thank Dr. Tammy Curtis for being a true role model. No matter how many times I called, I was always greeted with a smile and “Hey Sarah”. While in school, she has shown a willingness to help me with anything, even if it wasn’t her avenue. She has inspired me to be the same humble and genuine teacher for my students. It is truly an honor to work alongside her as my coworker. I also want to recognize Melissa Whitley, who has been an extremely valuable mentor in so many ways. Melissa provided me with my first educator job as an Assistant Professor at LSUA. She always encouraged my involvement in my profession, both in teaching and in this society. I would be remiss if I did not thank Jaclyn, Rebecca, Allison, and Carmen for always being supportive in each role I served. And to put you on notice, I will continue to rely on your expertise and kind assistance. I also would like to thank my students, because they challenge me to become a better teacher. I think of myself as a teacher-student trying to find ways to help them understand our radiology technology field. To all the many people I did not mention…Thank you!
The LSRT has been around for 60+ years and has supported the profession of Radiologic Technology within Louisiana in a multitude of ways. Each of us owes a debt of gratitude to the various people who have led this organization’s growth. As a student member (2007-2009), I never really grasped the full impact and rationale for the LSRT. Like many of you, I became a member because it was required of me for school. After I graduated, I felt my membership was no longer necessary. It wasn’t until I became an educator, that I truly understood the responsibilities and impact of this great society. I also realized that my membership DOES matter. We are the voice of our profession when opportunities and challenges come our way. In this discovery, a passion to go all in was ignited. I started as the Chair of the Membership Task Force, then became the Recording Secretary, Vice President, President-elect, and now President. I believe we have a great Society, and I look forward to contributing to and helping to expand such a great organization.
As the incoming President of the LSRT, I will hold myself accountable to stay abreast of issues impacting our profession, such as technology, like AI, and legislative concerns impacting our profession. These are some of the issues we need to keep in mind and be ready to address proactively as needed. We should all be ready to address these things accordingly.
As the new President, I would like to promote the LSRT in many ways. We know who we are, but I would like for our local communities to know and see us as community leaders as well. As our new ASRT President Brandon Smith said, “If they refuse to see us, then we will refuse to be ignored.” My initiatives are as follows:
- Promote students to become more active within LSRT. I want to urge more radiologic technologists students to see the need for this society, learn what is needed of you, and be active members. If you have the desire to serve, please let us know and we will put you to work. If you see a need, then share it with us so we can see if it has been visited before or should be tried.
- I want to initiate a Regional Community Task Force. The responsibility of this task force will be to develop community service projects within their regions and take steps to increase LSRT membership. Sometimes when others see you actively participating and making your organization seen, then they are more apt to get involved. I also would like for this task force to provide community service minimally during Radiologic Technology Week and the holidays.
- Another initiative is to increase our Social Media presence through LinkedIn and Instagram to aid in facilitating the spreading of who Louisiana’s radiologic technologists are and to be seen. I want to encourage postings of the truth about our profession to patients and other healthcare professionals, encouraging messages to get you through the day and to highlight what the regional community task force is doing. This committee will also highlight opportunities for you to be involved.
- Finally, for us to have fun and provide more opportunities to network, let us know what your school or facility is offering so we can have a presence there.
Needless to say, I will not be the last President of the LSRT, and during my tenure, I want to lead and inspire others to grow from good to great. We need you! We are a team. After all, teamwork makes the dream work, right? Today is a new day, and a good day to reignite a passion for this career you have worked so hard in and are working so hard to complete. I love a good quote, please listen to this one by Johanna Burkhardt entitled Let Yourself [Ourselves] Be Seen:
“It’s time that [we] let the world see [our] gifts and talents, put them on display. No one can see [our] greatness or potential when [we’re] hiding away from the world and making [ourselves] small. [We] can’t blame others for not seeing [our] greatness when [we’re] not seeing it within [ourselves] often enough. It’s time to embrace the unknown and time to put [ourselves] out there into the world. [We] can’t keep living within the limits of [our] fears…Claim [our] brilliance and stand in [our] light. Let [ouselves] be seen.”
Only WE can determine how we and the public view OUR profession. Let’s work together to build upon what has already been established and move forward to enhancing our profession. Not only in our healthcare facilities but also in our communities. Let’s show them who we are and that our profession matters.
Sarah Barnes, MSBA., R.T.(R)(CT)