A Registered Vascular Specialist (RVS) is a medical ultrasound professional. An RVS assists cardiologists and other physicians to diagnose patients’ conditions related to heart and blood vessel function. They’re also known as vascular technicians. These healthcare workers specialize in using ultrasound technology to be able to see in photos the blood and oxygen flow through the body. If you’re interested in becoming an RVS, here is some more information.
What an RVS Does
As a vascular technician, you would be responsible for a great deal. First, the specialist meets with the patient to discuss their medical history to learn about:
- family conditions
- current medication
- past heart or vascular problems
- any other information that might be pertinent to their current condition
Before and during the ultrasound procedure, an RVS also monitors vital signs such as:
- blood pressure
- oxygen levels
- heart rate
Using ultrasound technology, an RVS takes still or moving images of the arteries and veins. This is to determine their level of functioning and to pinpoint the cause of disruptions. It is the technician’s job to then send the test results to the physician who will examine them to make a diagnosis. A registered vascular specialist is part of specialized team working to diagnose and treat cardiovascular and arterial issues in patients.
There are various acceptable levels of education that can lead to becoming an RVS. You can pursue a program at the certification, associate’s or bachelor’s level. Each leads to positions of varying responsibility and pay scale. Look for programs accredited by a governing body that oversees relevant healthcare education programs. Three of these include:
- the Commission for Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (AAHEP)
- the Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) group
- the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS).
During your educational preparation, you will study the cardiovascular system in depth. Included in most programs are courses in:
- ultrasound technology
- medical ethics
It’s advisable to look for a program that has both in-class and hands-on training. A clinical experience in a medical facility is priceless when it comes to understanding the job and its requirements.
How to Become Registered
While it is optional to become certified in this profession, most employers and insurance providers require it. There are a variety of paths to certification. The American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers offers a Registered Vascular Technologist (RVT) certification exam that tests students on:
- vascular technology
- sonography principles
To earn the Registered Vascular Specialist (RVS) certification from Cardiovascular Credentialing International, you’ll need to pass a similar exam. Both of these options require completion of an academic program, as well as on-the-job preparation as a vascular professional.
Becoming a vascular technician can lead to many fulfilling opportunities. It’s a job that allows you to work closely with people and to utilize such skills as:
- critical thinking
A registered vascular specialist is an integral part of medical teams that save lives every day.