Registered Vascular Specialist (RVS)

Requires: Passing the one-part Vascular Registry Examination

Who should apply: Professionals working in the area of Vascular Technology (Vascular Ultrasound)    

Specialty Examination Fee: $350

RVS Navigation

All applicants must meet the following criteria:

1. Have a high school diploma or general education diploma at the time of application.

2. Fulfill one (1) of the qualifications of the exam for which you are applying. See qualifications listed in the tables below.

3. Provide typed documentation to support the qualification under which you are applying. Required documentation for each qualification is listed below. CCI reserves the right to request additional information.

 

Qualification Prerequisite Supporting Documentation

RVS1-2013
Two years of full-time or full-time equivalent work experience in vascular ultrasound. The applicant must have performed a minimum of 600** vascular ultrasound studies at the time of application.

 

It is recommended, but not required, that the applicant have experience in the following areas:
• Carotid duplex ultrasound
• Transcranial Doppler
• Peripheral arterial physiologic
• Peripheral arterial duplex
• Venous duplex ultrasound
• Visceral vascular duplex ultrasound

In the verification letter the medical director(s) must confirm the number of studies performed during the applicant’s employment.

RVS1-2013
Employment Verification Letter
(must confirm the number of studies performed during the applicant’s employment).

RVS235-2013
A graduate of a diploma, associate, or baccalaureate academic program in health science (including, but not limited to, cardiovascular technology, ultrasound, radiologic technology, respiratory therapy, or nursing)
AND
One year full-time work experience in vascular ultrasound
AND
Performance of a minimum of 600** vascular ultrasound studies in their career, which is defined as work experience and/or clinical experience gained during a formal educational program.

It is recommended, but not required, that the applicant have experience in the following areas:
• Carotid duplex ultrasound
• Transcranial Doppler
• Peripheral arterial physiologic
• Peripheral arterial duplex
• Venous duplex ultrasound
• Visceral vascular duplex ultrasound

In the verification letter(s) the medical director(s) and/or program director(s) must confirm the number of studies performed during the applicant’s employment and/or during the academic program.

RVS235-2013
Completion certificate and/or educational transcript
AND
Employment Verification Letter
AND
Clinical Experience Letter (only required for applicants submitting verification of the number of studies completed during a formal educational program)

RVS4
Applicant must be a graduate of a programmatically accredited*** program in vascular ultrasound.

RVS4
Completion certificate and/or educational transcript
AND
Student Verification Letter

 

Students applying to take examination prior to graduation will be required to submit this documentation

RVS5

A graduate of a NON-programmatically accredited program in vascular ultrasound which has a minimum of one year of specialty training and includes a minimum of 800 clinical hours in the specialty in which the examination is being requested.

 

Students enrolled in NON-programmatically accredited program in vascular ultrasound with a start date prior to September 1, 2013 will be eligible to apply for their specific registry examinations under this current qualification pathway after they graduate.

RVS5

Completion certificate and/or educational transcript
AND

Student Verification Letter
AND

Clinical Experience Letter

 

IMPORTANT: If an individual’s studies were completed after graduation or if the hours are not a requirement for their educational program, then those hours WOULD NOT count toward the 800-hour minimum under qualification RVS5.
** If an individual’s clinical hours were obtained during a formal educational program, then those procedures completed WOULD count toward the minimum of 600 vascular ultrasound studies under qualification RVS235-2013.
*** An accredited program is accredited by an agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), United States Department of Education (USDOE), or Canadian Medical Association (CMA) that specifically conducts programmatic accreditation for cardiovascular technology, diagnostic cardiac sonography, or vascular technology.

 

Click here for sample Employment Verification Letter, Student Verification Letter and Clinical Verification Letter.

CCI requires the Employment Verification Letter contain the following:

1) Employer’s original, official letterhead or stationery.
2) Indicate the date the letter was signed by employer/supervisor.
3) Indicate the name of the applicant.
4) Indicate full- or part-time employment.
5) Indicate the time period of employment.
6) Indicate the primary duties of applicant, related to the field of cardiovascular technology.

7) Indicate the number of studies performed during the applicant’s employment.
8) Original signature of direct supervisor, who must be a MD or DO or hold an active RCCS, RCES, RCIS, RCS, RDCS, RDMS, RPhS, RVS or RVT credential.

CCI requires the Student Verification Letter contain the following:

1) Educational program’s original, official letterhead or stationery.
2) Indicate the date the letter was signed by educational director.
3) Indicate the name of the applicant.
4) Indicate full- or part-time student.
5) Indicate the date or expected date of graduation.
6) Indicate the specialty of the educational program.
7) Original signature of the educational director.
8) For Non-programmatically accredited educational programs, indicate the program length, program specialty, the number and specialty of clinical hours accrued.

CCI requires the Clinical Verification Letter contain the following:

1) Clinical Site’s original, official letterhead or stationery.
2) Indicate the date the letter was signed by the clinical supervisor.
3) Indicate the name of the applicant.
4) Indicate the number of clinical hours.
5) Indicate the number of studies performed during the applicant’s clinical training (Required if applying on or after July 1, 2013).
6) Indicate the time period during which the clinical hours were performed.

7) Original signature of the clinical supervisor.
IMPORTANT: If an individual’s clinical hours were obtained after graduation from their educational program, then those hours WOULD NOT count toward the 800 hour minimum under qualification RVS5.

RVS Matrix & Content Outline Sunday, November 08th 2009 8:32 PM

 

Examination Matrix

 

This examination matrix is provided to illustrate the general distribution of questions and the relative weight or emphasis given to a skill or content area on the examination.
Examination Matrix for Examinations Administered before February 28, 2015 Examination Matrix for Examinations Administered on or after February 28, 2015
Content Category   Approximate Percentage of Examination
A. Prepare the Ultrasound System/Equipment for the Examination   7%
B. Prepare the Patient for Examination   7%
C. Perform Diagnostic Examinations   18%
D. Perform Vascular Protocols (includes test indications, interpreting clinical and test results, and recognizing associated pathology and intervention findings)   51%
E. Manage Data Acquired During Examinations and Create Preliminary Reports   9%
F. Professional Practices   8%
Total   100%
Content Category   Approximate Percentage of Examination
A. Maintaining Information, Facility, and Safety   8%
B. Applying Physical Principles   17%
C. Performing Abdominal/Visceral Examinations   9%
D. Performing Extracranial/Intracranial Examinations   19%
E. Performing Peripheral Arterial Examinations   24%
F. Performing Peripheral Venous Examinations   18%
G. Performing Special Procedures   5%
Total   100%

Knowledge List

 

The list below describes general areas of knowledge that are needed in order to perform the tasks identified. This knowledge will apply across multiple tasks.
  • Regulatory and compliance standards
  • Medical ethics
  • Medical terminology
  • General anatomy
  • Cardiovascular anatomy and physiology
  • Vascular hemodynamics
  • Disease process and progression
  • Basic math skills (formulas, exponents, decimals, scientific notation)
  • Basic statistics
  • Basic pharmacology
  • History and physical
  • Vascular signs and symptoms
  • Risk factors (family history, genetics)
  • Patient care and assessment
  • Basic Life Support (BLS)
  • Safety practices for patients and staff
  • Universal precautions/infection control
  • Specific policies and procedures (e.g., department, hospital)
  • Ultrasound physics
  • Ultrasound instrumentation
  • Ultrasound modalities (e.g., Doppler, color Doppler, B-mode, contrast)
  • Vascular anomalies and normal variances
  • Vascular nonsurgical interventions (e.g., medications, risk factor modification))
  • Vascular surgical interventions (current and past)
  • Imaging modalities (e.g., CT, MR)
  • Exam correlation with other imaging modalities

Task List for Examinations

Administered before February 28, 2015

The task list below describes the activities which an RVS is expected to perform on the job. All examination questions are linked to these tasks.
Please note that two task lists have been provided due to the revalidation of the Registered Vascular Specialist (RVS) examination. The revalidation study identified that the examination task list (exam blueprint) for the Vascular Registry Examination, the examination required in order to earn the RVS credential, required minor changes due to advances in the field since the examination’s last validation was conducted.
Duties and Tasks % of Exam
 
A Prepare the Ultrasound System/Equipment for the Examination 7%
1 Set up equipment (turn on, select presets, enter patient data)
2 Select transducers
3 Disinfect equipment
4 Position the equipment, adjust height of table/bed, chair
5 Apply gel to transducer (understand reasons for, physics)
6 Adjust preliminary control settings
7 Manage work flow
B Prepare the Patient for Examination 7%
1 Greet patient and verify patient demographics and ID
2 Educate patient/family about the procedure and determine needs
3 Position the patient
4 Adjust environment (lighting, temperature, mood)
5 Inform patient about how to obtain results and direct them to next destination
6 Remove and replace dressings, medical devices as appropriate
7 Determine the clinical question
C Perform Diagnostic Examinations 18%
1 Obtain patient height, weight, blood pressure
2 Capture optimal images based on probe placement and instrumentation
3 Select imaging planes and reposition patient as needed
4 Define anatomy and hemodynamics
5 Select imaging modality
6 Interpret images and modify examination to answer the clinical question
7 Measure and quantify findings (how to)
8 Instruct patient to perform physiologic maneuvers
9 Assess urgency of findings
D Perform Vascular Protocols (includes test indications, interpreting clinical and test results, and recognizing associated pathology and intervention findings) 51%
Abdominal (7%)
1 Perform renal duplex
2 Perform mesenteric/splenic
3 Perform abdominal aorta
4 Perform hepatoportal duplex
Cerebrovascular (12%)
5 Perform lower extremity arterial duplex
6 Perform TCI duplex
7 Perform transcranial doppler
Duties and Tasks % of Exam
 
Peripheral Arterial (13%)
8 Perform upper extremity arterial duplex
9 Perform lower extremity arterial duplex
10 Perform bypass graft surveillance
11 Perform resting ABI
12 Perform exercise ABI
13 Perform upper & lower segmental pressures
14 Perform PVR and Doppler waveforms
15 Perform PPG - ARTERIAL
Peripheral Venous (12%)
16 Perform upper extremity venous duplex
17 Perform lower extremity venous duplex
18 Perform saphenous vein mapping
19 Perform venous insufficiency testing
20 Perform ultrasound guided RF/Laser ablation
21 Perform PPG - VENOUS
Special Procedures (7%)
22 Perform dialysis access mapping
23 Perform psuedoaneurysm intervention
24 Perform penile pressures
25 Perform reactive hyperemia
26 Perform laser Doppler
27 Perform TCPO2
28 Perform vascular imaging with contrast
29 Perform intra-operative duplex
30 Perform endovascular ultrasound
31 Perform mammary artery mapping (IMA)
32 Perform cold/heat challenge
33 Perform thoracic outlet maneuvers
34 Perform Allen’s test
35 Perform radial artery mapping
E Manage Data Acquired During Examinations and Create Preliminary Reports 9%
1 Review images and findings
2 Analyze data (qualitative and quantitative) and interpret findings
3 Input data into report and send for finalization
4 Complete billing functions as appropriate
5 Communicate with the health care team (results, patient needs, etc.)
6 Notify medical staff of abnormal/critical results
7 Maintain confidentiality
8 Manage data flow and images
F Professional Practices 8%
1 Maintain equipment and patient areas
2 Ensure standard/universal precautions/sterile techniques
3 Respond to emergency situations
4 Maintain competency and quality assurance
Total   100%

Task List for Examinations

Administered on or after February 28, 2015

The task list below describes the activities which an RVS is expected to perform on the job. All examination questions are linked to
these tasks.
Please note that two task lists have been provided due to the revalidation of the Registered Vascular Specialist (RVS) examination. The revalidation study identified that the examination task list (exam blueprint) for the Vascular Registry Examination, the examination required in order to earn the RVS credential, required minor changes due to advances in the field since the examination’s last validation was conducted.
Duties and Tasks % of Exam
 
A Maintaining Information, Facility, and Safety 8%
Identify patient
Educate patient about the procedure
Obtain patient history
Triage patient status
Position patient
Use standard/universal precautions/sterile techniques
Maintain ergonomic safety
Evaluate quality assurance and improvement
Maintain equipment
B Applying Physical Principles 17%
Set up examination equipment
Obtain optimal image
Obtain pulse wave (PW) Doppler data
Obtain continuous wave (CW) Doppler data
Obtain color Doppler data
Detect artifacts
Practice bioeffect safety
C Performing Abdominal/Visceral Examinations 9%
Perform renal duplex
Perform mesenteric duplex
Perform abdominal aorta duplex
Perform endovascular surveillance
D Performing Extracranial/Intracranial Examinations 19%
Perform extracranial duplex
Perform carotid stent surveillance
Perform transcranial Doppler - nonimaging (TCD)
Perform transcranial duplex - imaging (TCI)
Duties and Tasks % of Exam
 
E Performing Peripheral Arterial Examinations 24%
Perform lower extremity arterial duplex
Perform bypass graft surveillance
Perform stent surveillance
Perform resting ankle-brachial index (ABI)
Perform exercise testing
Perform upper and lower segmental pressures
Perform upper and lower pulse volume recording (PVR)
Perform upper and lower continuous wave Doppler waveforms
Perform upper and lower photoplethysmography (PPG)
Perform upper extremity arterial duplex
Perform upper extremity arterial mapping
Perform thoracic outlet testing
Perform Allen’s test
Perform cold sensitivity testing
F Performing Peripheral Venous Examinations 18%
Perform lower extremity venous duplex
Perform lower extremity venous insufficiency testing
Perform vein mapping
Perform ultrasound guided ablation
Perform upper extremity venous duplex
G Performing Special Procedures 5%
Perform venous stent duplex
Perform dialysis access duplex
Perform pseudoaneurysm intervention
Perform post-operative surveillance
Total   100%
  1. What mechanism is primarily responsible for returning blood to the heart while walking:
    1. Gravity
    2. Venous valves
       
    3. Skeletal muscle
       
    4. Arterial pressure
  2. A TIA of the left anterior hemisphere of the brain will MOST likely affect:
    1. Entire body
       
    2. Left side of the body
       
    3. Right side of the face
       
    4. Right side of the body
  3. Intracranial circulation is a:
    1. Low-flow, low resistance system
       
    2. Low-flow, high resistance system
       
    3. High-flow, low resistance system
       
    4. High-flow, high resistance system
  4. Failure to produce augmentation of a Doppler signal in the common femoral vein following thigh compression suggests obstruction of what vein?
     
    1. Popliteal
       
    2. External iliac
       
    3. Greater Saphenous
       
    4. Femoral  Answers
      1. c  2. d   3. c   4. d  

The textbooks listed below are intended as recommended resources when preparing for examination. You may have previous or later editions of these or other references available that also present acceptable coverage of the subject matter. Any general text in cardiovascular techniques and evaluation, and cardiac patient care and management may be used. It is not necessary to use all of the texts identified. They are provided as suggestions only. CCI does not endorse or recommend any third-party review course or material.

 

1. AbuRahma, Ali F., and John J. Bergan. Noninvasive vascular diagnosis a practical guide to therapy. 2nd ed. London: Springer, 2006.
2. Belanger, Ann. Vascular Anatomy and Physiology: An Introductory Text. 1st ed. Pasadena, CA: Davies Inc, 1990.
3. Daigle, Robert J.. Techniques in noninvasive vascular diagnosis: an encyclopedia of vascular testing. 3rd ed. Littleton, CO: Summer Pub., 2008.
4. Edelman, Sidney K.. Understanding ultrasound physics. 3rd ed. Woodlands, Tex.: ESP, 2005.
5. Foley, W. Dennis. Color doppler flow imaging. Boston: Andover Medical Publishers, 1991.
6. Gray, Henry, Susan Standring, Harold Ellis, and B. K. B. Berkovitz. Gray’s anatomy: the anatomical basis of clinical practice.. 40th ed. Edinburgh: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone, 2009.
7. Hennerici, M., and Doris Heusler. Vascular diagnosis with ultrasound: clinical reference with case studies. 2nd rev. ed. Stuttgart: Thieme, 2005.
8. Kremkau, Frederick W., and Flemming Forsberg. Sonography principles and instruments. 8th ed. St. Louis, Mo.: Elsevier/Saunders, 2011.
9. Miele, Frank R.. Ultrasound physics & instrumentation. 4th ed. Forney, TX: Miele Enterprises, 2006.
10. Netter, Frank H., and Carlos A. G. Machado. Netter’s atlas of the human body. Hauppauge, N.Y.: Barron’s, 2006.
11. Rumwell, Claudia, and Michalene McPharlin. Vascular technology: an illustrated review. 4th ed. Pasadena, Calif.: Davies Pub., 2009.
12. Thrush, Abigail, and Timothy Hartshorne. Vascular ultrasound: how, why, and when. 3rd ed. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 2010.
13. Zierler, R. Eugene. Standness’s duplex scanning in vascular disorders. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2009.
14. Zwiebel, William J., and John S. Pellerito. Introduction to vascular ultrasonography. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders, 2005.

 

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