Echo Vascular Technician: Job Duties and Requirements
The body's blood circulation system is the focus of the echo vascular technician. Most echo vascular technicians, commonly known by the titles of 'vascular technologist' or 'vascular sonographer,' go to community colleges for a two-year associate's degree, while the rest earn baccalaureates in four years. Keep reading to further explore the requirements and benefits of this occupation.
The echo vascular tech's main responsibility is to execute tests (oftentimes, during surgery and post-surgery) to monitor the components of artery function, states the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov). These components include the patient's pulse, blood flow, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, and circulation in the brain, abdomen, and periphery. Once the tests are completed and their data compiled, the vascular tech summarizes conclusions derived from the data, then presents them to the physician.
How to Become an Echo Vascular Technician
Echo vascular techs can earn from a one-year certificate to a four-year bachelor's degree, according to CAAHEP, the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. As of October 2013, the CAAHEP lists 60 accredited vascular sonography programs in the U.S. (www.caahep.org).
The echo vascular tech operates ultrasound equipment that bounces high-frequency waves off the body's blood vessels (except for the heart's vessels, says the Society of Vascular Ultrasound's website, www.svunet.org). The vessels' resulting echoes are represented as video images showing how the vessels are functioning. The echo vascular tech needs essentially the same skills as those of an echocardiology technician, such as thorough knowledge of Doppler ultrasound.
Future Economics and Career
Because medical technology improvements have eschewed invasive procedures in favor of less expensive noninvasive ones, vascular techs are able to pinpoint vascular disease earlier, which means more job availability and a projection of much faster than average job growth of 30% through 2022. The BLS reported in May 2012 that the median annual salary for cardiovascular technologists, including vascular techs, was $52,070.
Alternate Career Options
With either an associate's or bachelor's degree in radiation therapy, in addition to licensing in most states, these professionals then seeks jobs treating diseases, such as cancer, through the administration of radiation treatments. As of May 2012, they earned a median salary of $77,560 per year, the BLS said, and could expect much faster than average employment growth of 24% from 2012-2022.
Nuclear Medicine Technologist
These techs earned median wages of $70,180 in 2012, according to the BLS, in jobs where they administer radioactive drugs to patients and then use a scanner to create bodily images. Their training usually involves either an associate's or bachelor's degree in this field; some states require licensing. Per the BLS, faster than average increases in these positions, at 20% growth, were projected from 2012 through 2022.
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