Vascular technologists are often called to complete patients’ medical history, evaluate pulses and assess blood flow in arteries and veins by listening to the vascular flow sounds for abnormalities, and verify that the proper vascular test has been ordered. They then perform the procedure using ultrasound instruments to record vascular information such as vascular blood flow, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, cerebral circulation, peripheral circulation, and abdominal circulation. Many of these tests are performed during or immediately after surgery. Vascular technologists then provide a summary of findings to the physician to aid in patient diagnosis and management.
The specialty of vascular ultrasound is a specialization of diagnostic medical sonography which is growing very quickly for its value in diagnostic evaluation of the blood flow through the veins and arteries. Ultrasound schools are producing well-trained students who are up to date with current vascular ultrasound techniques resulting in a high demand for such unique and experience and skills. Ultrasound is becoming the diagnostic method of choice across many areas of medicine creating the demand for these highly-trained individuals.
Full-time vascular technologists generally work a 5-day, 40 hour week which is very desirable. Some may occasionally be required to be available for call in outside of normal operating hours (e.g., evenings, and weekends).
The following are just a few schools offering specialized training as a vascular ultrasound technologist.
From the Cardiac and Vascular Institute of Ultrasound web site: "The Cardiac and Vascular Institute of Ultrasound (CVIU) is a fully accredited Ultrasound School dedicated to providing students with an in-depth and highly specialized education in cardiac and vascular ultrasound. We were the first Ultrasound Institute in the United States to separate the two fields—cardiac and vascular—from general diagnostic ultrasound and emphasize specialization rather than generalization. Specialization makes our students more employable. By specializing in either cardiac or vascular ultrasound, you will be more qualified than graduates of General Ultrasound Schools. Small classes, instructors that love teaching, and a curriculum that emphasizes immediate practical application, all make CVIU a fascinating and rewarding place to learn."
Visit CVIU's web site at: http://www.ultrasound.edu/
From Rush University of Vascular Sonographers: There are three major areas of diagnostic medical ultrasound: vascular, cardiac and general. In the vascular concentration, ultrasound is used to see and investigate essentially all of the major arteries and veins of the body, as well as measure blood flow velocity and pressure. Curriculum at Rush University: The full-time, vascular ultrasound program consists of seven-quarters over 21 months. The first year has nine months (three academic quarters) of classroom and student laboratory experience. Senior year is one year of experience (four academic quarters) working with registered vascular technologists in a clinical setting. Clinical sites include the five university hospitals in Chicago, community hospital laboratories in the Chicago area, and out-of-state sites.
The site for Rush University is located at: http://www.rushu.rush.edu/servlet/Satellite?c=RushUnivLevel3Page&cid=119...
Program Details at The Modern Technology School: "The Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound/Vascular Technology program is an 18 month course of study with three major components: didactic, laboratory & clinical internship. The didactic and laboratory portions average twenty-four (24) hours per week; and upon placement in a clinical internship, the student is required to commit to a maximum of forty (40) hours per week. All internships require a commitment of day, evening and/or weekends.
The on-time graduation rate for this program is 2172 clock hours in an 18 month period. The program will cover the ultrasound technology, vascular technology, anatomy & physiology, pathology, scanning protocols, ultrasound physics and medical ethics, medical terminology and patient care. The predominant didactic scope of the program is in abdomen, obstetrics and gynecology, small parts, vascular evaluations, abdominal Doppler of vasculature & abdominal structures, venous & arterial imaging and evaluation.
The objective at The Modern Technology School is to provide students with didactic, laboratory and clinical training necessary to obtain employment in the field of Ultrasound. Ultrasound Technologists and Sonographers are frequently required to perform vascular procedures as part of their caseload. Students completing the ultrasound/vascular technology course will be able to perform various procedures related to diagnostic ultrasound and vascular technology."
The Modern Technology School's web site is: http://mtschool.edu/index.php/programs/ultrasound-vascular-technician/
Students completing accredited programs will be able to sit for the national registry examinations in general ultrasound and/or vascular technology. Students must meet prerequisite requirements listed on the ultrasound registry website.