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Technical Standards

All applicants are required to read the following information because a certificate in cardiovascular sonography will lead the qualifying holder of this certificate to take different certification examinations depending on the concentration chosen.

American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography registry exams:

  • Adult Echocardiography (RDCS)
  • Pediatric Echocardiography (RDCS) (PE)
  • Vascular Technology (RVT)

Cardiovascular Credentialing International:

  • Adult Echocardiography (RCS)
  • Congenital echocardiography (RCCS)
  • Vascular Technology (RVS)

Therefore, all individuals applying to this program will be asked to verify they have read and understand these technical standards.


Cardiovascular technologists are employed throughout the country in medical centers, community hospitals, physician offices, imaging centers, clinical research laboratories, and the medical industry. They assist physicians and surgeons in performing many diagnostic and therapeutic procedures both in the hospital and in the outpatient setting. The specialized fields of cardiovascular technology are in constant demand.

The University of Kansas offers two specialty concentrations:

  • Adult echocardiography and vascular technology
  • Adult and pediatric echocardiography.

On overview of the professions by concentrations:

Adult and pediatric cardiac sonography utilizes various diagnostic modalities for the evaluation of cardiovascular anatomy, function, and hemodynamics. The sonographer’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to, patient interviews, instruction and preparation, quality control testing, execution of patient imaging procedures including: routine and complex echocardiograms, treadmill and pharmacological stress echocardiograms, transesophageal echocardiogram, computer image acquisition and image enhancement, and patient preparation for various procedures. A cardiac sonographer must demonstrate knowledge and understanding of cardiac pathology, pathophysiology, and hemodynamics in different disease states.

Vascular technology utilizes ultrasound to evaluate blood flow within the arteries and veins of the body, other than those of the heart, to evaluate for the presence of vascular disease. Vascular sonographer’s perform duplex imaging in the following areas of the body: upper and lower extremity arteries the arteries of the neck and head and the arteries of the renal arteries, veins and kidneys. The sonographer’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to, patient interviews, instruction and preparation.

Physical Requirements

The following are the standard physical requirements for working within the clinical environment as a student in this program. There requirements have been established as a result of clinical affiliates providing instruction during the course of the program to the students in training. Students unable to meet these requirements should contact the program director.

Visual acuity is necessary for watching patient’s vital signs and for accurate image acquisition for both invasive and noninvasive procedures.

Hearing and speech needs to be sufficient to communicate effectively and efficiently with all patients. Communications include not only speech but also reading and writing.

The student in training must be able to:

  • Read and comprehend technical and professional materials.
  • Follow verbal or written instruction in order to correctly and independently perform procedures.
  • Have strong ability to read and write in English.
  • Clearly instruct patients prior to and during procedures.
  • Communicate with faculty members, fellow students, staff and other healthcare professionals verbally and in a recorded format (writing, typing, etc.).
  • Report on patient progress/patient education.
  • Document patient data on flow sheets and in charts (entering small numbers in small boxes on departmental forms)
  • Independently prepare papers and take examinations.
  • Complete data entry into the electronic medical record.
  • Complete written case reports.

Conceptual and Analytical Reasoning

Applying didactic knowledge effectively and efficiently in a clinical setting an example would be an effective response to a medical emergency. The ability to recognize, assess and react using good judgement in response to an adverse event.


The student in training must have manual dexterity and good physical coordination to position patients and operate and transport equipment and must have full range of motion, utility of arms, hands and fingers in order to perform examinations and operate equipment. This is also necessary to assist patients on and off examinations tables and to assist patients and other healthcare team members with lifting patients out of wheel chairs and off carts onto examinations tables when necessary.


The student in training must have the following capabilities:

  • Possess these intellectual skills: comprehension, measurement, mathematical calculation, problem solving, reasoning, integration, analysis, comparison, self-expression and criticism.
  • Be able to exercise sufficient judgement to recognize and correct performance deviations.
  • Must be prepared to recognize any condition, whether observed in the echocardiogram or in patient behavior, which may pose immediate threat to health or life and react appropriately.

Behavioral and Social

The ACVT student must have the following skills and abilities:

  • Be able to manage time to complete didactic and clinical tasks within realistic time constraints.
  • Possess emotional health necessary to effectively employ intellect and exercise appropriate judgement.
  • Be able to provide professional and technical services in spite of the stresses of heavy workloads.
  • Be flexible, creative and adaptable to clinical and didactic changes.
  • Recognize potentially hazardous materials, equipment and situations and be able to proceed safely to reduce risk of injury to patient or self.
  • Support and promote the activities of fellow students and health care professionals.
  • Be honest, compassionate, ethical and responsible.
  • Always safeguard and preserve the confidentiality of patient information in accordance with office policy.

Physical Demands

The student must be able to perform the following:

  • Various physical motions including bending to the floor at the waist, reaching with hands above the shoulders and below the waist, and frequent standing.
  • Carrying and lifting objects of up to 50 pounds.
  • Use hands or fingers to manipulate, keyboard, handle or feel
  • Utilize strong vision to adjust focus, observe and view at close range, identify and distinguish color, judge depth perception, distance and spatial relationships, maintain peripherial vision and meet other specialized vision requirements. A successful color blindness test is required.

[Metal objects in the body]

It is the student's responsibility to notify the program's admissions committee and/or program director if there is any reason he or she cannot meet the expectations for the student in the cardiovascular sonography program described above with or without reasonable accommodations.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply to the program. Applications from candidates whose response indicates that they cannot meet one or more of the expectations will be reviewed further by the program admissions committee to determine if reasonable accommodations might be possible to facilitate successful completion of the certificate program. The applicant, program faculty, and the University of Kansas equal opportunity/disability specialist will participate in the review together.

TTY 711

The University of Kansas is an AA/EO/Title IX institution.

Last modified: Jan 07, 2019

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For more information about graduation rates, costs, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please see the program's gainful employment disclosure.

This certificate program is a partnership between Mid-America Cardiology and the KU School of Health Professions. The offices for this program are located in the Mid-America Cardiology suite of The University of Kansas Hospital in Kansas City, Kansas.

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Watch video: "The History of Sonography" by the Society of Diagnostic Medicial Sonography (2:56)