Associate of Applied Science in Vascular Sonography

Profession Description

A Vascular Sonographer is a healthcare professional who utilizes medical ultrasound in various medical settings to gather sonographic data to aid in the diagnosis of a variety of medical conditions and diseases. The Vascular Sonographer records and processes anatomical and pathophysiological data for integration with medical history, and properly communicates those findings to a licensed physician. In addition, the Vascular Sonographer educates patients in matters that involve medical ultrasound procedures, and promotes basic principles of goodhealth. Specifically, Vascular Sonography is vital in the diagnosing and treating patients with venous and arterial pathologies such as atherosclerosis, clots and aneurysms. Using ultrasound and other techniques, Sonographers acquire, analyze and document diagnostic information about the patient’s condition. They obtain patients history, perform appropriate test procedures and write preliminary reports of the data obtained for the interpreting physician or vascular surgeon. Sonographers use their judgment, reasoning abilities and discretion to perform vascular ultrasound. Communication skills play a vital role in the sonography profession enabling Sonographers to communicate with physicians and patients. Full-time Vascular Sonographers generally work a 5-day, 40 hour week. Approximately one half are required to be on-call outside normal operating hours (e.g., evenings, and weekends).

Program Description

This program is designed to train entry level Vascular Sonographers to assist physicians in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide variety of disorders affecting the vascular system. Students are taught by experienced Vascular Sonographers and physicians. The program is five semesters including the summer semesters. The first three semesters consists of classroom, laboratory, and patients’ observation. The last three semesters students begin clinical rotation and perform procedures underthe supervision of experienced Vascular Sonographers. Graduates work in hospitals, imaging centers, mobile vascular labs, and physician’s offices. Learning outcome categories include but are not limited to the categories listed below

Students learn to

Verbal and non verbal modes of expression appropriate for the purpose and audience

Computation

  • Use mathematical skills as related to various aspects of technology appropriate for the task Cognition: Students are able to
  •  Use critical thinking skills to analyze, evaluate and synthesize information and ideas
  • Use independent judgment and systematic problem solving methods to produce high quality diagnostic information and optimize patient care.
  • Global knowledge, responsibility and community consciousness:
  • Students must demonstrate an understanding of different cultures, knowledge of historical eras and importance of community involvement.
  • Perform patient assessment plans for individual patient.
  •  Perform vascular sonogram.
  •  Identify spectral and color-flow Doppler artifacts.
  • Demonstrate the ability to obtain a patient history and determine appropriate diagnostic pathways.
  • Demonstrate the ability to work effectively on a team.
  • Prioritize patient safety, including patient transfer, and immobilization techniques.
  • Demonstrate proper patient positioning and scan/test techniques for non-invasive vascular tests.
  • Acquire and analyze data obtained using ultrasound and related diagnostic technologies.

Compilation

  • Compile vascular sonography findings for submission to the interpreting physician to aid in patient diagnosis andmanagement.
  • Select appropriate technical factors to produce images within the limits of the ALARA principle.
  • Describe non-invasive vascular test indications, test capabilities, and limitations pertaining to vascular physiology, pathology and pathophysiology.
  • Describe post-interventional use of non-invasive vasculartesting.
  • Describe the capabilities, limitations, and contraindications of invasive/correlative vascular tests relative to vascular diseases pathologies.
  • Describe the mechanism of vascular diseases on vessels.
  • Describe therapeutic medical, surgical, and non-surgical vascularinterventions.
  • Explain the normal physiology of blood circulation and the abnormalities that can occur in the presence of vascular diseases.
  • Identify and describe signs, symptoms, and risk factors of vascular diseases.
  • Identify and describe the parameters used in interpretation of non-invasive vasculartests.
  • Identify vascular pathologies.
  • Identify invasive and other correlative vascular tests relative to vascular pathologies.
  • Identify normal vascular anatomy and recognize normal variants
  • Identify the characteristics that discriminate between, arterial and venous flow patterns.
  • Recognize the function, and sonographic appearance of vascular grafts.

Program Length/Time

Program length is 6 semesters (90 weeks) during the day. Daytime hours are 8:00 am to 4:45 pm Monday to Thursday. The maximum allowable time to complete this program is one and a half times (150%) times the # of semester credit hours. The length of the program excludes vacation time. (See schedule of vacation breaks).

Credentialing Agencies:

Graduates of the Associate of Applied Science program may apply and sit for the registry after completing an accredited program. Vascular Specialty exam are administered through the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) and Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI). The college or program is not affiliated with the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) or Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) which are private independent agencies making the rules for admissions to the exams. Under the current criteria for writing the registry exams, admissions to the exams are solely the responsibility of the examining body. The program cannot guarantee future eligibility for these exams. Students are advised to check frequently with these agencies for information regarding all examinations.