Bachelor of Science in Vascular Ultrasound Program Details

Vascular ultrasound program overview

PRE-ADMISSION: Students may apply for admission to the vascular ultrasound program by submitting an application, essay, recommendations and transcripts that document the required courses, grades and credit hours for review. After review, qualified applicants are invited to interview for the final decision to be accepted into the program. Please see the Admissions & Deadlines tab for prerequisite courses and credit information.

FIRST YEAR: Students start the program in September and participate in two semesters of classroom and student laboratory experiences. Students start learning to perform ultrasound exams in the student lab the first week of classes and continue to improve their skills throughout the program. First year students also rotate through the hospital lab to observe patient exams being done by professionals at Rush before they scan patients during the second year. All technical courses are taught by experienced credentialed registered vascular technologists (RVT).

SECOND YEAR: Students improve their skills by performing vascular exams on patients under supervision of an RVT in rotations through two to four clinical sites (vascular ultrasound labs) during the second year. Students also attend one course each semester, either at Rush or through the internet, primarily to write and present patient case studies. One course is also dedicated to preparing students to take the national credentialing examination offered by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) to potentially become an RVT upon graduation.

GRADUATION: Students that successfully complete the vascular ultrasound program at Rush earn a Bachelor of Science degree and are eligible to take the ARDMS credentialing exam (see www.ardms.org) to earn the RVT credential. Pass rates for Rush students have been excellent (92 to 100 percent the past 5 years). According to the ARDMS, if students from ultrasound programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) pass the ARDMS exams prior to graduation they will receive the RVT credential upon graduation.

JOB PLACEMENT: Job placement has been excellent for Rush vascular ultrasound graduates with a 92 to 100 percent job placement rate (vascular positions within 6 months past graduation) over the past 3 years. In addition, employers that submit job openings in vascular ultrasound to the program are forwarded to all program graduates. Approximately 18 job postings were shared in these emails between November 2016 and February 2017. Twelve job openings have been sent to our graduates via email from January 2018 to June 2018. Approximately half or more of these were located in the Chicago area. Employment of diagnostic medical sonographers is expected to increase 23 percent from 2016 through 2026 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics – above the average for all occupations.

SALARIES: A 2013 survey of Rush vascular ultrasound graduates revealed that graduates from 2010 to 2013 received a mean starting salary of $64,396 in their first job after graduation. The 34 Rush graduates from 2004 to 2013 reported that their current mean salaries at survey time in 2013 was $74,838.* The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a median salary of diagnostic medical sonographers was $71,410 in May 2017.

* Poster presentation: French-Sherry, E, Pooley, TA. “Salary and Job Trends for Vascular Ultrasound Graduates” Society of Vascular Ultrasound 2014 Annual Conference, July 17, 2014.

2018-2019 vascular ultrasound program curriculum

  FALL SEMESTER YEAR 1 Credit Hours
VAS305 Vascular Anatomy, Physiology and Pathophysiology 2
VAS310 Patient Care Class 2
VAS320 Ultrasound Physics and Physical Principles I 2
VAS320L Physics and Instrumentation Lab 1
VAS330 Venous Ultrasound Procedures 2
VAS330L Venous Ultrasound Procedures Lab 1
VAS340 Arterial Physiologic and Duplex Procedures 2
VAS340L Arterial Physiologic Procedures Lab 1
IPE IPE Interprofessional Education  
  SPRING SEMESTER YEAR 1 Credit Hours
VAS325 Ultrasound Physics and Physical Principles II 2
VAS345L Advanced Duplex Ultrasound Procedures Lab 1
VAS350 Cerebrovascular Ultrasound Procedures 2
VAS350L Cerebrovascular Ultrasound Procedures Lab 1
VAS360 Abdominal Vascular Ultrasound Procedures Class and Lab 2
VAS370 General Pathophysiology (online) 3
VAS380 Professional Practices in Ultrasound 3
VAS390 Introduction to Research and Lab 2
IPE IPE Interprofessional Education  
 

CLINICAL YEAR
SUMMER SEMESTER YEAR 1

Credit Hours
VAS411 Clinical Skills in Vascular Ultrasound I 11
VAS421 Professional Skills I 1
VAS441 Senior Topics/Cases I 1
  CLINICAL YEAR
FALL SEMESTER YEAR 2
Credit Hours
VAS412 Clinical Skills in Vascular Ultrasound II 7
VAS422 Professional Skills II 1
VAS451 Cumulative Clinical Skills in Vascular Ultrasound I 4
VAS442 Senior Topics/Cases II 1
 

CLINICAL YEAR
SPRING SEMESTER YEAR 2

Credit Hours
VAS413 Clinical Skills in Vascular Ultrasound III 8
VAS423 Professional Skills III 1
VAS452 Cumulative Clinical Skills in Vascular Ultrasound II 4
VAS443 Senior Topics III/Comprehensive Review and Exam 1
  TOTAL 69

Clinical rotations

Clinical sites are located both within the Chicago metropolitan area and beyond. Students are typically assigned to Chicago area labs for two rotations and one outside of Chicago area lab for two rotations. The Chicago area clinical sites include university and community hospitals and private labs. Clinical site locations outside the Chicago area currently include vascular labs in Springfield (IL), Ann Arbor (MI), Boston (MA), New Hampshire, Raleigh/Durham (NC), Charleston (SC), Tampa, Sarasota and Miami (FL) and Seattle (WA). Lab locations may change slightly each year. Upon admission, essentially all students must agree to attend a clinical site outside the Chicago metropolitan area for two of the four rotations in the year. The outside of Chicago area assignments will be assigned during the spring semester of the first year using a preference/ lottery system. Students first rank the locations as to their preferences and a lottery system establishes the assignment of each according to the preference rank. Final clinical assignments for the Chicago metro area are made by the program director working with the clinical coordinator, and all site assignments may change at the discretion of the program as necessary.

Housing, living, and travel arrangements to the clinical sites are the responsibility of the student, although we have graduates each year as well as clinical instructors who are happy to assist with suggested areas for housing. Each year there may or may not be a chance for one to two students to be assigned to Chicago area only sites. This opportunity will be determined just before interviews begin in late December or early January, primarily depending on the number of clinical sites available that year, and will only be offered to the first one to two students accepted in the rolling admission process if it is offered.

Advanced placement

Advanced Placement (AP) As of 7/14/14

Advanced placement in the vascular ultrasound program may be offered to any students who have passed an ARDMS exam (SPI or VT only) as seen below.

A. Advanced Placement for the ARDMS[i] SPI (Sonography Principles and Instrumentation).

Students must first be admitted to the program through the standard admissions process prior to requesting advanced placement in the program through a letter or email to the Program Director requesting this status.

Advanced Placement status may be approved for a student demonstrating proof of passing the ARDMS SPI (Sonography Principles and Instrumentation) exam. A“K” grade (credit by proficiency exam) may be earned for passing the SPI exam in the following courses:

Courses/Credits

a. VAS 320 Ultrasound Physics and Physical Principles I – 1 K credit but AP SPI students must take Doppler and Color Ultrasound topics sections of this course for 1 regular credit.

b. VAS 325 Ultrasound Physics and Physical Principles II - 2

c. VAS 320L Physics and Instrumentation Lab - 1

Advanced Placement SPI students must follow the remaining standard curriculum.

B. Advanced Placement for the ARDMSi RVT (Registered Vascular Technologist) credentialing exam.

Students must first be admitted to the program through the standard admissions process prior to requesting advanced placement in the program through a letter or email to the Program Director requesting this status. Students accepted for Advanced Placement RVT status.

  • Must show proof of earning the RVT credential through the ARDMS.i
  • Requires a minimum of one year clinical full time employment as a vascular sonographer (minimum 35 hours per week for one year or pro-rated for part time work).
  • May request full time status. Part time status is recommended to complete in 3 years.
  • May be limited to 1-2 students each year.

TOTAL RUSH COURSE CREDITS

1) Minimum 36 credits from courses taken at Rush - 36

The total number of possible credits from Rush coursework above assumes that an experienced RVT AP student will pass lab skills proficiency exams as seen below to earn the K grade (credit by proficiency exam) for these courses. If the student does not pass the following Rush based proficiency exams, the following courses must be taken in the RVT AP curriculum. The AP part time schedule of coursework will need to be adjusted to accommodate these courses and program completion may take longer than the 3 years initially anticipated with the addition of these courses.

2) K grade credits (credit by proficiency exam) for Rush based proficiency exams - Maximum 7 K credits

Advanced placement RVT students may take up to 7 Rush based proficiency exams in order to earn the K grade credits for the following courses. If the student does not pass the proficiency exam at Rush for a certain course listed below, that course must be taken by the student at Rush as a part of their curriculum. This may extend the time for completion of the program. Course/Credits

a. VAS 330L Venous Ultrasound Procedures Lab - 1

b. VAS 340L Arterial Physiologic Procedures Lab - 1

c. VAS 350L Cerebrovascular Ultrasound Procedures Lab - 1

d. VAS 360L Abdominal Vascular Ultrasound Procedures Class and Lab (lab portion only) - 1

e. VAS 345L Advanced Vascular Procedures Lab – 1

f. VAS 310  Patient Care Practices - 2

3) K grade credits for RVT (SPI and VT) ARDMS CREDENTIALING EXAMS26

The remaining courses in the standard curriculum will receive a K grade for passing the RVT credentialing exam through ARDMS.

4) The total number of possible K grade credits that can be earned by qualified advanced placement RVT students is 33. A fee of $25 will be charged for each K grade earned in the program.

Accreditation summary

The Bachelor of Science in vascular ultrasound program is accredited through the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs: 25400 US Highway 19 North, Suite 158, Clearwater, FL 33763. Phone: (727) 210-2350. Fax: (727) 210-2354.

Attend an information session

Learn more about the Bachelor of Science in Vascular Ultrasound program at an on-campus or online information session.