When did you achieve your CRA, and why did you decide to pursue it?
I earned my CRA in 2010 for personal reasons, but it turned out to have a financial impact. I have worked in the same hospital for 34 years, and at the time, my education was a hospital based certificate program that I completed in 1980. Because of my experience and willingness to learn, I entered a supervisory role. A couple years later I became the assistant director and decided at that point to sit for the CRA exam. It was a very personal decision. Having a certificate for radiology and not having a degree made me feel inferior to others. I was unsuccessful the first time but studied and took it again. I'm the acting director now, and because of my CRA I can be compensated as such. The director position required a Bachelor’s degree, but I asked for my CRA to be accepted in lieu of a BS. It was accepted, and with my CRA, I meet the qualifications. I always knew I could do the job; having my CRA justified that for me and my employer.

How much does your boss know about the CRA?
I shared the certification process with my HR department and senior vice president, so that they understand what it entails. They were impressed that there is a certification for imaging professionals. The CRA website provides a good explanation of the certification process to share with HR departments.

Have you referred a peer to take the test?
Yes. That peer will be sitting for her CRA in May.

Any fun stories you want to share?
During an Annual Meeting years ago, I crashed the CRA reception because they had free food and drinks. I looked around the room and saw so many CRAs and decided that I wanted to have that distinction as well. The following year, I was at the reception again, but this time I was on the invitation list.

CRAs, tell us about your experiences earning the CRA and holding the credential here.