This is a sore topic for many of us. We all have our own stories on this sore subject so I’ll be vulnerable and share ONE of mine.
Years ago, I went in to go take one of my exams, I believe it may have been my second time, I was feeling so good, prepared. I sit in my car in the parking lot and do my ritual before I go in, I take a few moments to breathe and pray. I work up the courage to go in and walk up to the desk only to get turned away. My license spelled out my entire middle name and my bank card only had the first initial of my middle name. This was back when you had to show two forms of ID, Needless to say I left in tears and called my husband crying. Being the protector he is, he called ARDMS, Of course not being a Sonographer I have no idea what he said or if he even knew what he was talking about, he just knew how hard I had worked to get to that point. It didn’t change anything of course and I knew it wouldn’t, but it was great he wanted to fix my pain. I think about this time and other various stories I have heard when I see people posting their test results online. I worry about the people who have had experiences where they have not passed after third or fourth time in which this can be for many different reasons as we know it. For instance, I know that I’m a terrible test taker, and my girlfriend gets severe test anxiety, another friend of mine complained that there were so many questions on one area of testing that he failed to spend equal amount of time on that area as he did all the others.
Another reason I opinionize about this theory is because recently I came across a Sonographer who has been doing Cardiac sonography for four years, she took and passed her RVT exam on her first try. However to much of my surprise she never once performed a vascular exam. I’m not sure how that works when asked to perform an exam that you are registered in but I would not want to have to explain that.
I recently went on the ARDMS Global Exam Summary Report and saw that as of 2017 the pass rate for first time takers is in the high 70’s but the overall pass rate is mid 60’s to low 70’s. Although there is no way to determine the status of these test takers, one of our complaints as sonographers’ is how student sonographer’s need to get registered before even getting hired and working as a paid sonographer. This goes back to us veteran sonographer’s who say anyone can pass the exam but that doesn’t necessarily make them a proficient scanner.
We work so hard to prepare and pass these exams it’s understandable we want to shout to the world that we passed however maybe it’s best to keep fellow Sonographer’s feelings in mind and shout to our inner circle instead. We know in our field this is a rewarding accomplishment one that shouldn’t be undermined or taken lightly. Regardless to all my fellow Sonographer’s…Congratulations!