If you are fascinated with the field of diagnostic imaging, you can consider a career as a vascular technologist. In this profession, you will be working together with diagnostic medical sonographers and cardiovascular technologists and technicians in helping doctors get a clear idea of a patient’s condition. You will also be collaborating with the other members of the medical team like doctors or surgeons before, during and after the diagnostic procedures are being carried out. Your responsibilities are going to be similar to that of cardiovascular technologists although there are significant differences.
Vascular technologists are concerned with getting images of blood vessels whereas cardiovascular technologists focus on getting images of a patient’s heart. Aside from using ultrasound equipment to get the desired images that would show abnormalities in blood flow, vascular technologists also perform other procedures and use other instruments to get the necessary data that would help doctors get a clear picture of the patient’s condition. For example, they measure blood pressure, check his pulse rate and get the oxygen saturation levels of his blood to determine if the patient is suffering from blocked arteries or other medical affliction.
Before conducting any test, it is also your responsibility to get the patient’s vital signs and obtain his medical history to get additional information that physicians can use in their diagnosis. You will also make sure that the equipment you will use is hygienic and functional. When the results come out, it is also your responsibility to analyze the images and summarize the findings for the physician.
To succeed as a vascular technologist, you need to have the ability to pay attention to the minute details. It’s not always easy to spot the difference between healthy and unhealthy areas unless you are very particular to detail so this is a trait that is very important in this profession. You also need to have excellent coordination with your hands and eyes since you will be looking at the ultrasound screen while manipulating the equipment on the patient’s body. Since you could be dealing with patients who are in pain and emotionally stressed about their medical condition, you need to have patience and empathy. At the same time, you also need to possess excellent interpersonal skills so that you can make the patient follow your instructions in your quest to get clear images.
Why Become A Vascular Technologist
A career as a vascular technologist is well-suited for those who want to combine their interests in working in the medical industry with that of using advanced medical diagnostic equipment. It is also for those who want to help the sick but don’t want to undergo the lengthy training that doctors have to go to. On the practical side, a career as a vascular technologist is also worth striving for because of the extremely positive job outlook in the coming years and the good wages that are in store for those in this profession.
Vascular Technologist Work Environment
Vascular technologists are employed mainly by hospitals, although they may also be hired by medical and diagnostic laboratories and doctors’ offices. The work schedule is often fulltime and can be physically demanding since they assist in lifting and turning patients who cannot move by themselves. They can also be asked to work in the evenings, weekends and holidays since medical facilities operate 24 hours a day.
Vascular Technologist Salary
The U.S. Occupational Employment and Wages report of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that the mean annual wage of diagnostic related technologists and technicians, including vascular technologists, is $59,750.
Vascular Technologist Career Outlook
The job outlook for vascular technologists is very positive. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that for the decade covering 2012 to 2022, the employment rate is set to grow 30 percent, a rate that is much faster than the average for all job types. They will still be mainly employed by hospitals but the rise in demand will be fueled by their employment in physician’s offices and medical and diagnostic laboratories. The advancements in the use of imaging and non-invasive technology are also going to fuel the demand for this occupation.
Vascular Technologist Degree
The entry point towards a career as a vascular technologist is an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in vascular technology. Those who are already working in related medical fields but wish to become vascular technologists can earn a certificate in vascular technology which only takes a year to finish. Vascular technologists who hold professional certifications are preferred by employers since Medicare and insurance providers will only reimburse for procedures if they are done by those who are certified.