To become a Registered Vascular Technologist (RVT), candidates must have appropriate medical education and clinical experience, and pass both the Sonography Principles & Instrumentation (SPI) exam and the Vascular Technology (VT) specialty exam administered by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS). The two exams can be taken in any order, but both must be successfully completed within five years of one another.
The Vascular Technology specialty exam is a three-hour multiple-choice test with 170 questions focused on the anatomy and sonographic evaluation of the venous and arterial systems. The exam is evaluated and assigned a numerical point value from 300 to700; a result of 555 or above is a passing score.
Candidates must prove their eligibility to take the VT specialty exam by completing the ARDMS application forms and submitting qualifying documentation, including proof of formal education; verification of clinical experience; transcripts and licenses; and letters from a supervising physician, technologist, or program director. Applicants who are renewing or recertifying, or who are not first-time applicants, are subject to different requirements. The ARDMS provides online guidelines for the application process, including step-by-step outlines and checklists for how to apply for, register for, schedule, and take both the VT specialty and SPI exams.
Once an application has been approved by the ARDMS, candidates must register for the Vascular Technology specialty exam at a local test center and pay any exam or renewal fees. Exam results are available online immediately following the test. Candidates who do not pass the exam must wait a minimum of 72 hours before re-applying and 60 days before retesting.
The Vascular Technology specialty exam evaluates applied knowledge of vascular anatomy and physiology, hemodynamics, diseases, arteriography, angiography, and various diagnostic tests and visualization modalities. Scores are calculated using a higher percentage emphasis placed on some topics over others. The subjects and associated percentages are:
- cerebrovascular (25-35%)
- venous (25-35%)
- peripheral arterial (20-30%)
- abdomen and visceral (5-15%)
- miscellaneous conditions and tests (5-15%)
- quality assurance (3-5%)
For those preparing to take the Vascular Technology specialty exam for the RVT credential, there are numerous online resources and printed materials available, including practice tests, study guides, sample questions, and tips on test-taking strategies. The ARDMS also offers detailed content outlines for both the SPI and VT exams.