Vascular Technician Job Description, Career as a Vascular Technician, Salary, Employment
Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job
Education and Training Associate’s Degree
Average Salary $59,000 a year
Job Outlook Very good
Basic Job Description
A vascular technician is one who assists a cardiac surgeon or a physician with diagnosing and treating heart and vessel problems. Various duties will involve helping doctors schedule appointments, going over charts and x-rays, and explaining those procedures to patients. They will also take care of any special equipment in the employ of the doctor, and operate that equipment when necessary. They may be trained in several different kinds of technology, including, but not limited to: Invasive, non-invasive, echocardiography, vascular, and cardiographic. Each one of these is a person who has received specific training in that field. The vascular technician will use tools to monitor a patient’s heart before, during and after surgery. They will use ultrasound machines to view images of the heart and identify potential problems both before and after surgery. They will perform tests to check circulation in all areas of the body. They will also perform other duties specific to the doctor they work with and the training they have received.
Education and Training Requirements
A vascular technician will need a two year degree from any junior college or community college, however there are many four year programs opening up due to increased need for training. The first year of school is typically dedicated to basic courses and the second year will consist of the training, both in the classroom as well as the doctors office, specific to the area the applicant wants to go in to. There is a board called the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Professionals that governs over and accredits programs for getting the degree needed. There are many such credited programs all over the country. Once the degree is obtained, a license must be obtained through taking a state administered examination. Upon a satisfactory grade, a license will be issued to the applicant. When licensed, the applicant will be able to apply for jobs in the field.
Getting the Job
In order to get a job in the vascular technician field, applicants will need to have the appropriate degree and license on board with the state in which they wish to practice. They will need to posses an aptitude with the devices used in the processes of day-to-day operations. They will also need to know whether they prefer working in a hospital, doctor’s office or a diagnostic imaging center that specifically caters to heart conditions.
The attitude and personality of a vascular technician must be one of great patience and the ability to make patients comfortable and relaxed before, during and after procedures. They will need to have a good repertoire with the patients and be genuinely friendly while also being direct. They will need to be efficient with their work, while at the same time making a patient feel that their needs are being met and that they are truly being cared for. They will need to be able to handle working in a sometimes-stressful environment, and be able to handle deadlines to make sure patients are being treated in a timely manner without waiting excessively for results. A good attitude is crucial for the benefit of the worker as well as the patient.
Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development
The job prospects for a vascular technician are great and growing rapidly. There was a significant increase in job openings last year as many doctors and hospitals recognized a need for vascular technicians. Finding training as well as employment has gotten continually easier over the past couple of years and should continue to in the future.
A vascular technician will greatly increase their hiring value if they are trained in multiple areas as opposed to performing procedures specific to one heart condition. They will also be more employable if they are outgoing and friendly, as well as willing to work irregular hours and holidays. Hospitals carry the greatest need for vascular technicians to do a high rollover into other areas.
Experience as well as increased training in other areas of the field can develop the career of a vascular technician. The vascular technician can also move on to the technologist field with a bit more training and certification. There are also management and supervisor positions available for those with the experience needed to acquire the job.
Working Conditions and Environment
Vascular technicians have the opportunity to work in a variety of environments, including, but not limited to: hospitals, doctor’s offices and diagnostic imaging centers. Each of these places of employment will have varying degrees of stress and rewards that accompany hard work. The vascular technician will sometimes experience heavy stress due to the nature of their work. It can involve dealing with patients who are in life or death situations with heart problems. When this is accompanied by hard work and irregular work hours, it can create stress for the technician. An applicant should be able to deal with this stress and continue working in a calm manner. Experience will help alleviate this stress as well as knowing how to handle patient relations to prevent extra emotions.
Some vascular technicians will work in a doctor’s office, which will require the ability to be friendly and supportive of the doctor as he builds his clientele. Doctors are dependant on friendly employees to gain and retain patients. The vascular technician in a doctors office will need to be very energetic and outgoing as well as posses a lot of patience and understanding. They will need to be able to relate information to patients so that a full knowledge of any problems or conditions can be given. They must be thorough and timely in all situations so that the doctor can have a successful practice, which will in turn benefit the vascular technician.
Salary and Benefits
The average income for a vascular technician is $59,000 a year, but can range from $25,000 a year all they way $80,000 based on experience and location. The salary has been on a rising trend and will continue to rise as more education and technology is available for heart related conditions.
Benefits for a vascular technician are good. Working in a hospital or doctor’s office provides one with a great health benefits package. The benefits also include being able to be employed in almost any city or town in the U.S. due to the increasing need for vascular technicians. This allows for easy relocation and flexibility which is a popular preference for many people.
Where to Go for More Information
Society for Vascular Ultrasound
4601 Presidents Drive, Suite 260
Lanham, MD 20706
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