PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE – JULY 2022
As this is my first message as President, I’d like to extend a warm greeting to you all. I am immensely proud to have been appointed to this role and I am very much looking forward to working with the rest of the Board, our CEO Sally Kincaid and the ASMIRT team. I would particularly like to thank outgoing President, Bronwyn Hilder, for all that she did throughout her tenure, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. She has been an inspiration, and I look forward to continuing the great work that she has done for the Society.
First, what a wonderful ASMIRT conference it was in Cairns! It was fantastic to be face-to-face with colleagues and friends after so long. There was a great energy in the air throughout the entire four days, and our thanks must go to conference co-convenors Millie Taylor-Brown and Janelle Couch, along with the conference committee, who did a fabulous job playing host and showing us all that Cairns has to offer; it certainly was a jam-packed program. If you attended, we hope you had a memorable conference experience, and came away reconnected, united and inspired.
Looming over the conference planning were the risks associated with running an event of this size during COVID-19. The conference events team talked long and hard about the levels of restrictions we should impose. Queensland Health had removed all relevant COVID-19 restrictions on 14 April – six weeks before the conference: no requirement for proof of vaccination and no requirement to temperature test or check in. The need to wear masks had been revoked sometime earlier. However, we felt that more stringent measures were required, hence the need for all delegates to provide evidence of being triple vaccinated, and our further requirement for every delegate to be temperature tested before entering the venue each day. So seriously did we take these requirements that we hired security guards to enforce this and ensure that Queensland Health’s directives were not only followed but were exceeded. We also initiated a ‘traffic light’ system of coloured lanyards to enable delegates to choose their own level of contact with other attendees. There was always going to be some risk attached to attending a large event – and travelling to and from it – and despite our best efforts there were a few cases that emerged shortly after the conference, inevitable given the widespread incidence of COVID-19. But we thank all delegates for their support of the measures we took, and the sensible way they all approached the event.
As this year’s conference was held during National Volunteer Week, it is timely that we recognise the wonderful work of the many volunteer members of the Society who sit on our committees, reference groups, branches and Board. We are ‘better together’ and thank you for all you do. One of my priorities as President will be to consolidate the relationships we currently have with our stakeholders and establishing new ones to the benefit of members and the wider professions across Australia, New Zealand and the world. In the closing ceremony at ASMIRT 2022 we were fortunate to hear from Dr Jonathan McNulty, who touched on the vision towards 2031 across medical radiation sciences, education, research and
practice in Europe. He also spoke of the increasing rate of change in health care and technology, and how we can all benefit; the profession, patients and the broader community.
I encourage you, our members, to continue to be advocates for your Society and your profession. You can do this by sharing our stories, attending our events, and actively engaging with us through our social media channels and within your own networks, from your colleagues through to your communities.
I look forward to connecting with you all in the months ahead.
EAP Assist – Wellbeing member benefit
EAP Assist are our wellbeing supporter and counselling support service, providing helpful advice on how to relieve stress and live a more balanced life. Each week they suggest ways in which you can enhance your life with easy-to-follow messaging on useful topics.
These life tips are now available to members only, you can find them here, updated monthly:
Accepting your Distressing Thoughts Feb 24, 2022 |
Many people spend a lot of time and energy trying to get rid of their upsetting thoughts and worries. Not so long ago, psychologists encouraged people to change their thoughts by making them more rational and reality oriented or to just suppress them entirely with…read more
Stress & Anxiety Feb 23, 2022 |
Life can be stressful—you may feel stressed about performance at work, traumatic events (such as a pandemic, a natural disaster or an act of violence), or a life change. Everyone feels stress from time to time. Stress is the physical or mental response to an external…read more
Fun Benefits Feb 22, 2022 |
In today’s fast-paced world, it’s all too easy to focus our attention on working, accumulating things and just surviving from day to day. When this happens, we are simply going through the motions of life while missing out on living it to the full. This is when we…read more
Ten Self-Care suggestions for Depression Feb 21, 2022 |
Your depression symptoms may increase the more you ignore your needs and self-care — like getting restful sleep, eating nutritious meals and taking time to relax. A good self-care routine can also go a long way toward helping you manage your day-to-day life. Consider…read more
Breaking that Habit Feb 18, 2022 |
A habit is a practice you repeat so regularly that it can be hard to change. This could be biting your nails when you’re worried, picking up a bottle of wine whenever you pass the liquor store or cracking open a bag of chips while watching TV at the end of the…read more
Empathy in the Workplace Feb 17, 2022 |
Leadership styles in business vary from one to the next, but one character trait that is steadily becoming essential in the modern workplace, especially since COVID-19, is empathy. It’s the importance of taking into consideration how your actions…read more
Better Workplace Relationships Less Stress Feb 16, 2022 |
Social relationships and the networks they create have a crucial impact on our health, well-being and longevity. Having close relationships with family and friends is highly protective of health—as protective as exercise or quitting smoking. Moreover, people with…read more
Manage Work Demands Manage Stress Feb 15, 2022 |
Research shows that overall work has indeed become considerably more intense since the 1970s. Employees are working faster and harder and are more likely to say they have “too much work to do everything well” than they were in the past. Many report feeling overwhelmed…read more
More Employee Control Less Stress Feb 13, 2022 |
Decades of research demonstrate that workers’ sense of control at work is a powerful lever for enhancing their health—or harming it.Broadly defined, control at work involves having meaningful discretion over how, when and where work gets done. Workers lack…read more
Virtually Working Feb 10, 2022 |
Some of us enjoy working virtually, while others prefer working in the workplace. Regardless of your preference, it’s important to recognize the unique challenges that virtual work brings. Some common challenges are maintaining personal and professional boundaries,…read more
Trauma Triggers Feb 10, 2022 |
When you encounter a trigger after trauma, a strong emotional and behavioural reaction comes over you. It’s as if you are reliving that trauma all over again. The word “triggered” has become a popular term to describe anything that causes emotional discomfort. But for…read more
Wellbeing in the Workplace Videos Feb 9, 2022 |
Three short videos providing practical tips for Wellbeing in the Workplace: Wellbeing: Chair Exercises https://youtu.be/HYLoDv9wLmw Wellbeing: Breathing Exercise https://youtu.be/o7b5Tmj3KJo Wellbeing: Visualisation…read more
Goal Setting with Purpose Feb 8, 2022 |
Having a purpose is essential for a meaningful life and equates to having intentional goals. While mindfulness teaches us to live in the present moment, envisaging the future we want to live in is good for our mental health because it gives us focus and something to…read more
On Being Optimistic Feb 7, 2022 |
It is no surprise that during recent times people often find it difficult to maintain a positive outlook on life. After all, there is plenty to keep our spirits down and before you know it, you’re caught in a trap of negative thinking. This type of thinking only leads…read more
Saying Thank You Feb 4, 2022 |
Thanking someone is a very powerful form of appreciation. Sometimes, we just really need to hear ‘thank you’ and sometimes we don’t even realise that’s what we are desperate to hear. Being thanked often motivates us, as we know what we are spending our time and effort…read more
Social Media Boundaries Feb 4, 2022 |
If you have a smartphone, you’re probably well aware that limiting your screen time can be a challenge. Not to mention, spending too much time online can negatively affect your well-being. And if you’ve watched Netflix’s “The Social Dilemma,” you’re familiar that…read more
Breathing to Sleep Feb 3, 2022 |
Breathing exercises can be very beneficial to help us wind down and remain calm during our bedtime routines with the ‘4-7-8’ Breathing Exercise being very popular. It is said to make you fall asleep in as little as a few minutes with just 5 steps and can be done…read more
Five Resiliency Tips Feb 2, 2022 |
When stressed, our bodies go through many changes to enable us to become capable of dealing with the situation. We may become more alert, faster and stronger, enabling us to be able to deal with problems. It is common for our heart rate and blood pressure to increase,…read more
Five Productivity Tips Feb 1, 2022 |
Do you ever get to the end of the workday and feel that it has been a very unproductive one? That you’ve had so much on you’ve struggled to prioritise your time and haven’t got half as much done as you should have, or that feeling of forgetting to do something…read more
Planning for the future
Starting a new year often brings with it the hope and anticipation of a productive 12 months. 2022 is no exception, as we forge on from the past two years of disruption, taking the lessons we learned and apply them to all aspects of the coming year. I have seen our members performing their work to the highest standards during the pandemic and know you have the skills to navigate what this year brings and made the medical radiation professions proud. As always, your Society continues to be a support for members, as we too progress with new ideas and ways of creating a better profession for all MRPs.
Key to this progression is our annual Branch Executives meeting. Held on Saturday 19 February, each state came together for wide ranging discussions around events (both educational and social), Branch operational procedures and how each state Branch is planning for the year ahead. Each year we also take the opportunity to review the Strategic Plan and ensure that we are on track to achieve our goals. Whilst Branch members again participated in this meeting via Zoom, we do hope to return to a face-to-face gathering very soon. I am so grateful to the Branch Executive and Committees for their dedication, and work they undertake for the Society and for the profession as a whole.
Our CPD team have been working hard behind the scenes and recently created a totally online platform for all our exams. As registrations for exams continues to grow, we have worked to remove barriers to attendance with the online platform, and exams are now being running inhouse. The impetus for this change came from the restrictions Covid-19 presented, including issues with closed exams sites and the lengthy lead times for exam preparations when using a third party. Being able to provide exams online means more reliability and greater flexibility, as they can now be held in your workplace. The team has also improved the exam syllabus and support for candidates is now ASMIRT staffed and readily available. Excitingly we hope to take these changes further; currently exams are being held three times a year, however we are working towards them being available on-demand all year round. Watch this space, get enthused and apply.
Talk of vaccinations is regularly at the forefront of conversations in allied health. I have been asked what the Society is doing to assist MRPs who do not wish to get vaccinated and are at risk of losing their jobs as a result. The answer is that, like all other peak bodies and organisations, ASMIRT can do very little as we are all obliged to abide by the dictates of our federal, state and facility regulations. The Society trusts that each state is working for benefit of all staff and patients in medical settings and that members follow the rulings mandated in each state.
One area we can certainly direct our excitement in 2022 is the annual conference in Cairns in May, where planning is progressing at a terrific rate. It really looks as if this event will be a great success, and the first opportunity for members and others to network face-to-face in a national forum for over two years. I highly recommend booking your flights and accommodation now before early bird registration closes at the end of the month.
Please continue to be vigilant about health and safety as we navigate another year of battling existing COVID strains and dealing with potential new ones. As my term as President will come to a close in May, I am already able to look back and say am very proud of all that the Society and you have achieved – the care and dedication you to show for your fellow colleagues and patients continues to shine through.