Vascular Technologist Job Description
Vascular technologists use specialized ultrasound equipment to help doctors diagnose disorders related a person’s physical blood flow. The word “vascular” addresses the veins and blood vessels in the human anatomy that transfer fluids. Vascular technologists use sound and image techniques to deeply examine a patient’s vascular health, using their detailed eye to help diagnose deep vein conditions, heart disease, vascular disease, and more. Vascular technologists normally work in hospitals, physicians’ offices, and outpatient centers. Because many medical facilities operate 24-hours a day, vascular technologists may work evening or weekend shifts. People in this field can work on a part-time and full-time basis.
Vascular Technologist Duties and Responsibilities
While a vascular technologist’s day-to-day duties and responsibilities are determined by where they work, there are many core tasks associated with the role. Based on our analysis of job listings, these include:
Complete Patient Exam Preparation
Instructing and preparing patients for an exam is the first step for any vascular technologist. It is their job to transfer the patient to the appropriate room and explain the testing procedures and answer any patient questions before getting started. Next, they ask detailed and specific patient history questions to get the information they need for an initial examination. Finally, vascular technologists transfer the patient to the appropriate ultra sound table, position them correctly, scrub their skin, and apply a special gel needed to conduct the test.
Perform Ultrasound Examinations
While under the supervision a physician, vascular technologists conduct noninvasive ultrasound techniques to diagnose potential disorders of blood veins, arteries, or vessels. The equipment they use records an image of motion, shape, and composition of a target area. Vascular technologists must ensure that the ultrasound images generated during their procedure are of high quality. If not, the technologist makes adjustments to their machine in order to produce images suitable for the doctor to interpret.
Analyze Tests Results
A primary responsibility of vascular technologists is to review test images to check for quality and sufficient coverage. They compare patients’ most recent scans to previous results and assess diagnostic information. They are tasked with providing summary findings for physicians and other medical professionals involved with a patient’s case.
Provide Direct Patient Care
Vascular technologists provide healthcare service directly to patients while maintaining a positive atmosphere. While staying relationally pleasant, they transport patients to and from their respected testing department. The must also follow any sterilization procedures and use caution when in direct content with patients. Occasionally, vascular technologists handle hazardous materials and must ensure that there is no patient cross-contamination.
Create Reports and Treatment Plans
After analyzing a patient’s images, some vascular technologists are required to create an effective treatment plan based on ultrasound results. They prepare reports and maintain documents according to employer policies and procedures. Vascular technologists properly write down findings and keep track of patients’ records. Some are asked to file changes and enter data on new procedures performed.
Vascular Technologist Skills and Qualifications
Vascular technologists must be independent workers with excellent interpersonal skills. Employers typically look for licensed candidates with an associate’s degree in radiology, sonography, or completion of an accredited one-year ultrasound training program. Companies also prefer that candidates have the following skills:
- Ultrasound imaging – vascular technologists operate equipment to acquire diagnostic images or to conduct tests
- Basic life support – most vascular technologists need Basic Life Support (BLS) certification to show they can provide life saving support in a healthcare emergency
- Data entry – on a daily basis, vascular technologists log results in electronic software or update patient records
- Analytical skills – reasoning is important for technologists to spot abnormalities that could signal unhealthy blood flow in a patient
- Interpersonal skills – vascular technologists must be able to quickly build rapport with patients in order to make exam and tests as smooth as possible
- Organizational skills – physicians depend on vascular technologists to keep precise, accurate records
Tools of the Trade
Vascular technologists work in a medical service environment and are comfortable using the following software and equipment in a typical workday:
- Ultrasound equipment
- Patient records software
Vascular Technologist Education and Training
Vascular technologists are required to have an associate’s degree in sonography, radiology, or a related a field. An adequate substitute for this is completion of an ultrasound program from any organization accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Employers look for potential candidates to be actively registered with and certified by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) or Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI). To become certified, candidates must pass a standard exam.
Vascular Technologist Salary and Outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for vascular technologists is $55,270. The lowest ten percent of those employed in this field earn less than $28,680. The highest ten percent earn more than $90,760 per year.
Industry employment for vascular technologists is predicted to grow by 10 percent through 2026, which is faster than average for all occupations, according to the BLS. The aging of baby boomers is expected to drive this growth, as heart disease will most likely increase among this population.
We searched the web to find the best industry resources to help you continue exploring a career as a vascular technologist. From exam preparation guides to networking organizations, this list is packed with opportunities to learn, connect, and engage.
American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) – the official non-profit accreditation organization that administers qualification certificates for vascular technologists in the United States
Society for Vascular Ultrasound – a membership society with over 5,700 vascular technologists and professionals, get certification help, attend networking events, and learn about latest industry news
Vascular Technology: An Illustrated Review – the perfect all-in-one illustrated guide for technologists in training from one of the most trusted vascular technology review authors
ScoreCards for Vascular Technology, 2nd Edition – strengthen your vascular technology skills wherever you go with these handy ScoreCards that have 500 key questions to help you pass your career exam
A Career as a Cardiovascular Technologist (Careers Ebooks) – this in-depth report is a tell-all guide explaining everything you need to know to prepare for a rewarding career in cardiovascular technology
Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) – the independent credentialing agency for cardiovascular technologists around the word can help you get training and education to advance in this specialization of vascular technology
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