Vascular technology is an allied health profession that focuses on diagnosing vascular disease. The vascular technologist uses sonography, pressure-measuring devices and plethysmography to document venous and arterial disease. The exams are interpreted by vascular surgeons and neurologists. The term "noninvasive" is used because the methods do not involve a surgical procedure.
The vascular technologist is required to have in-depth knowledge of vascular anatomy, disease and treatment. The information he or she provides assists the vascular surgeon and neurologist in identifying and quantifying the extent of vascular disease. The exams are performed in a vascular lab, at a patient's bedside or in an operating room.
The veins and arteries of extremities and cranial and abdominal vessels can be examined by the vascular technologist. These vessels may have a buildup of chronic arteriosclerosis or a sudden blockage caused by trauma or embolism. The scope of exams performed by vascular technologists is varied due to the many vessels and situations they are qualified to examine.
The first year of the cardiovascular program teaches basic science and cardiovascular disease-related curriculum. Vascular, noninvasive cardiology and cardiac catheterization students take combined classes. In the second year, vascular students specialize in vascular technology only.
Upon completion of the didactic training, the student rotates through local medical centers participating in the program to complete the final quarters of clinical internship. Students take the CCI national registry exam upon graduation.