Diagnostic Vascular Sonography Certificate: Program Summary

A certificate program in diagnostic vascular sonography prepares an individual to perform the noninvasive procedures needed to assist physicians assessing the function of a patient's circulatory system. The vascular sonographer uses ultrasound to record the blood flow through arteries and also monitors blood oxygenation and blood pressure.

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Certificate in Diagnostic Vascular Sonography

Students working towards a certificate in diagnostic vascular sonography get classroom instruction as well as clinical training as they learn to use ultrasound equipment. Certificate programs may take from a few months up to two years, depending on the student's prior education and experience. Teaching hospitals, 4-year colleges and vocational schools all offer certificate programs in diagnostic vascular sonography. Some programs offer training specific to vascular sonography, while others prepare students for professional certification exams in all aspects of diagnostic sonography.

Educational Prerequisites

All applicants for this program must have at least a high school diploma or GED certificate. Some schools require applicants to hold a bachelor's or 2-year degree in a patient-care field. Completion of certain college coursework with a minimum grade point average may be required.

Course Topics

Students in this program learn the basics of anatomy, focusing especially on the circulatory system. They learn how to operate various types of ultrasound and sonogram machines and study the principles of the procedures. Course topics may include:

  • Vascular ultrasound physics and instrumentation
  • Human anatomy and physiology
  • Medical terminology
  • Sonography clinical education
  • Vascular sonography procedures

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expected employment of cardiovascular technologists and technicians in general to increase by 30% from 2012-2022 (www.bls.gov). Growth was attributed to the need to address heart disease's prevalence in an aging population. These technologists and technicians earned a median salary of $52,070, as reported by the BLS in May of 2012.

Continuing Education

While voluntary, certification is commonly required by employers. The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) offers the Registered Vascular Technologist credential (www.ardms.org). In addition to completing a training program from an accredited school and passing the sonography principles and instrumentation exam, technicians must pass a 170-question, 3-hour vascular technology exam to earn the designation.

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