THE RADIOLOGY & IMAGING NURSE: A LEADER IN PATIENT CARE ARIN 2016 INAUGURATION SPEECH

Evelyn Wempe MBA, MSN, ARNP, ACNP-BC, AOCNP
President, ARIN 2016-2017

Good afternoon, colleagues and distinguished board members, I would like to begin by welcoming all of you to the 2016 Association for Radiologic and Imaging Nursing (ARIN) Annual Spring Convention. I hope you have enjoyed the educational sessions, the networking opportunities, but most of all each other’s company with our shared passion for Radiology and Imaging nursing.

Today, I have the privilege to begin my journey as ARIN’s 2016 President. I am deeply honored to have been elected into this role and to continue the amazing work of my predecessors. For the past year, I have served on the board as President Elect. I have had the wonderful opportunity to work alongside a talented group of individuals that served on the 2015 Board of Directors. At this time, I would like a moment to acknowledge the 2015 Board of Directors for their hard work and dedication to ARIN’s core purpose of fostering the growth of nurses and advancing the care in the radiology & imaging environment. Please join me in applauding this amazing group.

Additionally, I want to recognize Mary Sousa, our 2015 ARIN President, who has worked diligently and successfully to ensure ARIN’s Visibility within the healthcare environment through leading it to the forefront in radiology and imaging nursing; not only at the national level but also internationally. She advanced our Virtual capabilities through increased accessibility to online resources and educational courses and finally through voicing the Vital role of the radiology and imaging nurse. She has been a great mentor in preparing me for my Presidency. Mary, you mentioned last year that you had big shoes to fill; I think I will re-iterate it this year! Over the next year, my goal is for ARIN to continue to expand and evolve the role of the radiology nurse. As nurses, we are an important part of the patient’s experience in radiology and imaging. Look around this room and see all the talent, experience and skillset that we bring to our departments, colleagues and most importantly, our patients. Without realizing it, we are all leaders in patient care. It is important for ARIN to continue to foster the growth of nurses within the radiology and imaging environment for several reasons. First, it is important for us as nurses to advance our specialty. As members of our specialty organization, we are increasing our knowledge on what we do. We are learning of the latest education available on caring and managing our patients through webinars, journal articles and member forums. Second, we are delivering high, quality care to patients in the imaging environment in an era where patient safety and individualized care is critical in health care. Lastly, the more we know as radiology and imaging nurses, the more we are able to educate others on what we do. Through participation in local chapters, member forums, and conference attendance, we are strengthening and advancing our specialty. As active participants, we are further developing our roles as leaders in patient care.

The role of the radiology and imaging nurse can be seen in many facets of our everyday work in the imaging environment. Look at the different leading roles we have. We have staff nurses comforting patients when undergoing interventional procedures or imaging studies. We have educators teaching patients and health care professionals about radiology nursing care. We have nurse managers overseeing the day-to-day operations. We have advanced practice nurses developing treatment plans for patients. We have nurse navigators and their collaborative efforts in coordinating patient care. It is amazing, all that we do as radiology and imaging nurses. As health care continues to transform, our roles will only continue to strengthen and transform along with it. For these reasons and many more, it is essential that ARIN continue to expand on educational opportunities and resources for nurses working in the specialty. ARIN online resources and practice guidelines are important examples that offer such educational opportunities.

This next year, I would like to expand on new areas of educational opportunities through clinical pathways. An example of this is within Interventional Oncology, a subspecialty within interventional radiology, that is rapidly gaining focus. There is an opportunity to expand the education of radiology and imaging nurses working and caring for oncology patients. In 2016, the American Cancer Society estimates that over 1.6 million new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States. (American Cancer Society, 2016). From a global perspective, there were 14 million new cases in 2012. These numbers suggest to me that there is an opportunity to expand ARIN’s educational platform within this area. A goal I envision is to develop an interventional oncology clinical pathway. Many of the patients we care for in the radiology and imaging environments are newly diagnosed or undergoing care for their cancer diagnoses. This educational platform can be a valuable tool for radiology and imaging nurses to continue to deliver high quality care, provide patient education and meet the clinical and psychosocial needs of the oncology patients. Other possible clinical pathways include nursing within imaging modalities, radiology nursing management, advanced practice and radiology education. These are areas that I believe need further development.

As ARIN President, I look forward to a year of working with you to continue to expand on the knowledge and clinical care of our patients through open communication and collaborative efforts. I will strive to continue to embrace and drive change while pursuing opportunities for growth and learning.

As leaders in patient care, the work that we do is important. As health care continues to evolve, so will our roles. In the words of Walt Disney, “we keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing things because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading to new paths”. As radiology and imaging nurses, we will keep moving forward. We will keep opening new doors to clinical care of patients, and we will keep doing what we do because we are advocates, and because of this, we will keep leading our specialty to new paths.

So look around this room and recognize the wonderful role you play. As radiology and imaging nurses YOU are ALL leaders in patient care! Thank you for your time and enjoy the rest of the convention!