Schools with Vascular Sonography Programs
Vascular sonographers, more commonly known as vascular technologists, use sound-based technology, such as ultrasound machines, to observe and possibly diagnose ailments within a patient's veins and arteries. Postsecondary education may not be required in this profession; however, many employers prefer the completion of an accredited certificate, associate's degree or bachelor's degree program.
How to Select a Vascular Sonography School
Programs in vascular sonography are available at community colleges, technical schools and universities.
Summary of Important Considerations
- Previous education and career goals
- Scheduling constraints
- Clinical experience opportunities
Aspiring vascular sonographers are encouraged to enroll in programs accredited by an organization such as the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. In order to qualify for registration with a group such as the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS), graduates must hold an accredited degree. Through the ARDMS, students can gain the title of registered vascular technologist (RVT) under the broader category of sonography.
Previous Education and Career Goals
An associate's degree may qualify students for both entry-level employment and certification in vascular sonography, as well as lead directly into a 4-year bachelor's degree program. Bachelor's degree programs may include more clinical experiences than associate's degree programs and could lead to professional advancement. Certificate programs are typically designed for students already holding associate's or bachelor's degrees in an allied health field and who wish to gain further specialization.
Distance education opportunities through online coursework and lectures may offer flexibility with professional or personal scheduling constraints. Students continuing their education through bachelor's degree and certificate programs may find online programs especially useful.
Clinical Experience Opportunities
Students may be interested in schools and colleges with on-campus clinical facilities that offer access to equipment such as ultrasound machines and echocardiograph machines. Multiple clinical rotation opportunities may allow students to experience multiple kinds of vascular sonography, such as abdominal, obstetric, pelvic and Doppler.
Vascular Sonography Program Overviews
Certificate in Vascular Sonography
Certificate programs in vascular sonography may be completed in one year and are typically designed for students who already have a background in health science education. Students commonly engage in extensive clinical practice and some programs include externships. Coursework may include various types of sonography, such as breast, gynecological, abdominal and cardiovascular. Coursework also includes:
- Vascular testing
- Patient care
- Echocardiography introduction
- Ultrasound physics
Associate's Degree in Vascular Sonography
An associate's degree in vascular sonography may prepare students for certification with the ARDMS as an RVT and can be completed in two years. Clinical experiences are typically mandatory in the form of practicums. Coursework can include:
- Anatomy and physiology
- Sonography instrumentation
- Non-invasive sonography techniques
Bachelor's Degree in Vascular Sonography
Bachelor's degree programs in vascular sonography are designed to be completed in four years. They qualify students to work as vascular technologists in a variety of settings, such as specialty clinics, hospitals and private practices. Extensive clinical experiences may take place at multiple locations. In addition to training in a variety of specialty sonography areas, such as breast, abdominal and obstetric sonography, coursework may include:
- Advanced sonography techniques
- Doppler sonography
- Patient care
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