By Mary Jo Ewing, CRA
As I see the notifications for registration for the May 2018 CRA exam, it brings back memories from last year at this time when I was busy preparing for the exam. I remember the long days at work and late nights reading the textbook series and completing the online practice tests. Many nights my husband would tell me, “It’s 1:30 in the morning, you need to sleep too!”
I was determined to take the exam in May of 2017. Passing the CRA exam had been a goal of mine ever since attending an AHRA Spring Conference in Seattle over 8 years ago. Like everyone else, life happens and work responsibilities pile up; the install of a CT scanner, having a family, and then installing a MRI scanner all took place over those years. Through it all, being a CRA was still something I wanted. I thought about being a CRA every time I saw the notices for the May and November exams.
I worried how I was going to pay for the exam again as, I am going to be honest, this was my second attempt at taking the exam. I had received the notices about the CRA Exam Scholarship, and I would read through the questions, think about my answers, and then be pulled away to take care of something for someone else.
I finally submitted my CRA Exam Scholarship application exactly on the deadline, minutes before leaving work for the day. A few weeks later, I received a call that I was awarded a scholarship and I cried. I was so thankful for the opportunity and was determined to pass the exam as a show of gratitude to the scholarship selection committee for selecting me.
Being a CRA is more than a few initials behind your name. It is a sense of accomplishment, pride, and a show of knowledge. I encourage anyone interested in becoming a CRA to apply for the scholarship and take the exam.
As the deadline for the exam scholarship nears (it’s February 2!), take the time to think about applying. Passing the CRA exam was one of my greatest accomplishments in 2017.
Mary Jo Ewing, CRA is the diagnostic imaging manager at Black River Memorial Hospital in Black River Falls, WI. She can be reached at Ewingm@brmh.net.