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Dear Debbie,

I am just starting to study for my ARDMS Physics examination. I am starting from chapter 1 in my textbook, but I honestly just don’t know what to focus on. There is so much stuff? Any suggestions?

– Stumped Student

Dear Stumped,

Reviewing your textbook and notes from your classes is a very good place to start. You should also go to the ARDMS website (ardms.org) and review the content outline for the SPI examination in order to get an idea as to the percentage of questions asked on each topic. You can also take practice ARDMS Physics tests offered by the ARDMS to give you a good idea as to the way that the questions will be phrased on the test. There are two practice tests offered, and each one has completely different questions. You may also consider looking at private study guides and reviews to further prepare for that very important examination. An SPI focused review course focuses on the type of questions that you are likely to see on the examination.

Dear Debbie,

I stumbled on to this blog and would like to ask some questions. I am in school now studying to be Radiology Technologist, but my heart is with ultrasound. I know that’s what I really want to do. Is there any advantage to taking a Radiology program first versus going straight away into an ultrasound program? Will I make more with the extra schooling and experience? None of my advisors has been able to give me a straight answer.

– X Ray Student in Orange, CA

Dear X Ray,

There are many people working as sonographers who are both Radiologic Technologists and Ultrasound Technologists. Since both employment positions are in the Department of Radiology, your experience in X Ray will definitely make learning ultrasound somewhat easier. In some of the smaller imaging facilities, employers like it if employees can perform both X Ray and ultrasound examinations. It saves hiring an additional employee when there are not enough X Rays or ultrasound exams to warrant hiring two people. In addition, interviewers may be impressed that you have completed both training programs. When the job market is a little tough, extra related education may be an advantage. However, you most certainly can go to an ultrasound training program without having gone through a Radiology Technologist program. Just make sure that the program you choose is with a reputable school.

In relation to whether you will be making more money with both Rad Tech and Ultrasound Tech, it really depends upon the facility. If you are performing both X Ray and ultrasound exams, the answer is probably yes. If you are strictly performing ultrasound examinations, the answer is probably no.