Vascular Sonography Program Frequently Asked Questions


Question 1:  What is Vascular Sonography?

Vascular ultrasound is the general term for a non-invasive painless test that uses high-frequency sound waves to image blood vessels, including arteries and veins. Lower extremity venous ultrasound is typically performed if a clot in the vein is suspected (deep venous thrombosis or DVT).

Ultrasonography, commonly called Sonography, is a Diagnostic Medical Procedure that uses high frequency sound waves (ultrasound) to produce dynamic visual images or organs, tissues, or blood flow inside the body. Sonography can be used to examine many parts of the body, such as the abdomen, breasts, female reproductive system, heart and blood vessels.

The process involves placing a small device called a transducer against the patient’s skin near the body part to be imaged. The transducer works like a loudspeaker and microphone because it can both transmit and receive sound. The transducer sends a stream of high frequency sound waves into the body that bounces off the internal structures. Different structures of the body reflect these sound waves differently, with the sounds detected by the transducer. These sounds are analyzed by a computer to make an image of the structure(s) on a television screen or that can be recorded on videotape.

Question 2:  What does a Sonographer do?

Sonographers are non-physician professionals who perform ultrasound procedures. Sonographers who specialize in imaging and tests of blood vessels are known as vascular technologists.

A diagnostic Medical Sonographer is a highly-skilled professional who uses specialized equipment to create images of structures inside the human body that are used by physicians to make a medical diagnosis. Sonographers have extensive, direct patient contact that may include performing some invasive procedures. They must be able to interact compassionately and effectively with people who range from healthy to critically ill.

The area of specialization in the field of Sonography for the VT ATC program:

  • Vascular Sonography
  • Evaluation and analysis of the hemodynamics (blood flow) of peripheral and abdominal blood vessels.

Question 3:  Is there a waiting list and how many students are admitted each year?

We do not have a wait list for admission into the vascular sonography program. We use the program Selection Criteria as a guide to accept students when there are more applicants than seats available. Currently we can allow up to 12 - 14 students in each cohort. 

Question 4:  What is the schedule for the program and where is it located?

This advanced technical certificate is offered on the Melbourne Campus and begins each Summer term and runs continuously through both summer sessions.

Clinical sites are utilized for the Practicum experience and it will be the student's responsibility to secure transportation to and from the assigned site. Students will follow a set course sequence within the program.

Question 5:  When will I know if I've been selected for admission to the program?

After the application deadline, all complete application folders will be submitted to the Selection Committee.  All applicants will be notified by mail of their acceptance status approximately two weeks after the deadline. 

Question 6:  Is professional support required during the program?

As a student in Eastern Florida State College's Vascular Sonography Advanced Technology Certificate program, you will be immediately introduced to the following professional association: Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS).

Paid membership in this association is mandatory throughout the program. Benefits include access to industry-related information, special discounts, networking opportunities and additional tools to help you meet your career goals in the Sonography profession.

Question 7:  What are the career opportunities?

Sonographers can choose to work in clinics, hospitals, private practice physician offices, public health facilities, laboratories and other medical settings performing examinations in their areas of specialization. Career advancement opportunities exist in education, administration, research and in commercial companies as education/application specialists, sales representatives, technical advisors, etc.

Question 8:  Does the program have state approval?

Yes. The Vascular Sonography Advanced Technical Certificate program curriculum has been approved by the Florida Department of Education. Eastern Florida State College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).