Frequently Asked Questions


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the ACC Cardiovascular Interventional Technology Program?

The ACC Cardiovascular Interventional Technology (CI) program is a 2-semester (effective Fall 2020) advanced technical certificate program. The CI program is designed to prepare the student to take the national post-secondary certification examination in Cardiac Interventional Radiography administered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). The didactic courses are offered as online instruction.

The length of the program offers students an adequate amount of time to obtain the required number of clinical exams set forth by the ARRT.

Who can apply to the CI program?

The CI program is offered to imaging professionals with a primary current certification in Radiology R.T.(R)(ARRT).

Please note that the ARRT requires the candidate must hold primary pathway registration with the ARRT in an appropriate discipline and document completion of specific clinical experience requirements.

How many students are accepted into the CI program?

The number of students that we accept is based on the number of clinical training facilities that we have available. Typically, we accept 6 – 8 students for the 2-semester (effective Fall 2020) program that starts in the Fall semester.

Is the CI program offered every year?

The Program is offered on an as-needed basis. It is dependent on CI staffing and having 70% student enrollment to make the program. If there are not sufficient applications, the Program will not be offered. The Program only starts in the Fall semester.

What is the difference between declared and undeclared student?

Declared – Declared applicants are classified as students who require the clinical and didactic component. These students are eligible to enroll in the three didactic courses and two clinical courses covered in the Fall and Spring semester.

Undeclared – Undeclared applicants are classified as students who do not require the clinical component. Undeclared means that only the didactic coursework is required. These applicants may already work in the CI field or have made personal arrangements for clinical training, and only are seeking the didactic portion of the coursework.

As an undeclared student, do I have 2 years to complete all the procedures needed by the ARRT?

Yes, the ARRT policies and guidelines apply to both declared and undeclared applicants. ​Both students will have 24 months to complete the ARRT competency requirements.

From ARRT.org: Candidates for ARRT post-primary certification and registration must — within the 24 months before submitting their applications — complete and document specific procedures as outlined in the clinical experience requirements (see Appendix B). 

Please visit www.arrt.org for more information about the CI post primary pathway option.

Is there a tardy or absence policy for the CI program?

Declared students in the Cardiovascular Interventional Program are required to attend 24 hours of clinical internship per week. Due to the nature of the subject matter and the fact that you will be dispensing ionizing radiation to patients in clinic, assisting physicians with cases, and learning hemodynamic monitoring, it is essential that you attend class consistently. In addition, professional behavior predicates arriving on time and ready to participate in learning activities in the clinical environment. You will be required to record your attendance for each clinic day. Three days is the limit for absences in the 16-week clinical course, and two days is the limit for absences in the 11-week clinical course.

During a 16-week clinical course, the first three absences are without penalty. The fourth absence results in a drop in letter grade and written conference with the faculty member. The fifth absence will result in probation and conference with the faculty. Additional absences will result in withdrawal from the course (excerpted from the CVTT Student Handbook).

During the 11-week clinical course, the first two absences are without penalty. The third results in a drop in letter grade and written conference with the faculty member. The fourth absence will result in probation and conference with the faculty. Additional absences will result in withdrawal from the course (excerpted from the CVTT Student Handbook).

How do I apply to the CI program?

Information can be found on the Application Process page.

I do not have a medical imaging background. Can I apply to the CI program?

Unfortunately, you are not eligible to apply to the ACC CI program. You must be an imaging professional that holds a current primary license in Radiology, R.T.(R)(ARRT).

I am a Limited Radiologic Technologist (LMRT) and hold a current state license. Can I apply to the CI program?

Unfortunately, you are not eligible to apply to the ACC CI program. The state license allows you to be employed in that state to perform limited radiography. The state license and ARRT certification are two separate entities.

Please note that the ARRT does administer a Limited Scope of Practice in Radiography Examination. The ARRT administers the examination to state approved candidates under contractual arrangement with the state and provides the results directly to the state. This examination is not associated with any type of certification by the ARRT.

You must be an imaging professional that holds a current primary certification in Radiology, R.T.(R)(ARRT). The CI program is designed to prepare the student to take the post primary CI certification examination administered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT).

I am a new radiology graduate. Can I apply to the CI program?

Yes, you can apply to the ACC CI program. You must pass the ARRT Radiography Certification Exam prior to the withdrawal date of the fall semester. If you do not pass your ARRT examination in radiology prior to this date, you will be withdrawn from all enrolled CI courses and ineligible to continue in the CI program.

I am a new imaging graduate. Is patient care experience in imaging required?

Patient care experience is preferred, but not required. You will find that patient care experience is extremely helpful in the CI environment. Patient care experience used to rank applicants is defined as full-time employment in any radiographic discipline. Clinical patient care experience as a student will not be accepted in the applicant ranking process. Applicants with zero to less than six months will receive zero patient care experience points in the ranking process.

I have been employed in the imaging field for more than one year. How does this help me in the ranking process?

Full-time employment in an imaging discipline outside of CI or Electrophysiology (EP) will help you in the ranking process. You must submit a patient care experience form completed by a supervisor or human resources representative to verify employment as an imaging professional. Points will be awarded as follows:

  • New graduates and/or less than 6 months full time work experience = 0 points
  • 6 months-1 year full time employment = 2 points
  • 1-5 years full time employment = 3 point
  • 6-10 years full time employment = 4 points
  • 10 years & over = 5 points

I have been employed in the cardiac cath lab or electrophysiology (EP) lab more than one year. How does this help me in the ranking process?

Full-time employment in the cardiac cath lab (CCL) or electrophysiology (EP) lab will help you in the ranking process. You must submit a patient care experience form completed by a supervisor or human resources representative to verify full-time employment in at least one of those areas. A minimum of one year experience in either the CCL or EP lab will earn applicants 5 points. If employed in the CCL or EP lab for less than one year, points will be awarded based upon the criteria set for those outside the CCL or EP lab (please see previous question).

I hold a primary ARRT certification, but I have never been employed in the imaging field. Can I apply to the CI program?

Yes, you can apply to the ACC CI program. Please note that the absence of patient care experience may lower your overall ranking score against other applicants. Clinical patient care experience as a student will not be accepted in the applicant ranking process. Applicants with zero work experience in the discipline will receive zero patient care experience points in the ranking process.

What is the CI ranking process?

The CI ranking process helps determine which applicants will be accepted into the CI program. The process uses grade points that are awarded for supporting coursework, patient care experience, advanced credentials earned from ARRT, and current ACLS providers. Patient care experience points are awarded based on documented, full-time paid work experience in any radiographic modality. ARRT credentials earned in advanced imaging modalities are awarded based upon copies of ARRT registry cards. ACLS points are awarded based upon current AHA ACLS certification cards (card holders must be in compliance through July of application year).

What supporting courses are used in the CI ranking process?

Supporting courses are used to award grade points in the application process. You must submit school transcripts that clearly show the grade awarded. Transcripts that do not clearly show grades awarded will not be accepted in the CI ranking process. The following courses are supporting courses that are used to rank CI applicants:

  • College Algebra/Equivalent or Passing math placement test
  • Introduction to Speech Communications
  • Introduction to Computing
  • Patient Care Course
  • Human Anatomy or Anatomy & Physiology

Grade Point Distribution:

  • A = 4 grade points
  • B = 3 grade points
  • C = 2 grade points
  • D or F = 0 grade points
  • CR = 2.5 grade points

Prerequisite Course(s) not taken earn 0 grade points.

I have not taken one or more of the supporting CI courses. Can I apply to the CI program?

Yes, you can apply to the ACC CI program. Please note that the absence of one or more of the supporting courses may lower your ranking relative to other applicants. Absent supporting courses will receive zero grade points in the ranking process.

What are advanced imaging credentials?

These are credentials which have been awarded to individuals from the ARRT above and beyond the Radiology (R) credential. These include Computed Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MR), Mammography (M), Vascular Interventional Radiography (VI), Bone Densitometry (BD), Nuclear Medicine (N), Sonography (S), Vascular Sonography (VS), Breast Sonography (BS), and Registered Radiologist Assistant (R.R.A). Each advanced credential an applicant possesses at the time the application is submitted will be awarded one point.

What is AHA ACLS?

ACLS or Advanced Cardiac Life Support is awarded by the American Heart Association. It is an advanced certification in the areas of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), airway management, pharmacology, and EKG interpretation. Applicants who provide a current ACLS card at the time they submit their application will be awarded one point. A current ACLS card is one that expires in July or later of the application year.

What courses are in the CI degree plan and when are they offered?

Effective Fall 2020

Fall Semester:

CVTT 1304 and CVTT 1313 are didactic online courses.

CVTT 2660 Clinical is typically offered Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Students spend 8 hours per day at clinic and clinical times are generally 7 a.m. – 3 p.m.; however, clinic times may vary from site to site. Clinical sites are offered at hospitals in the greater Austin metro area.

Spring Semester:

CVTT 1340 and CVTT 1350 are didactic online courses.

CVTT 2661 Clinical is typically offered Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Students spend 8 hours per day at clinic and clinical times are generally 7 a.m. – 3 p.m.; however, clinic times may vary from site to site. Clinical sites are offered at hospitals in the greater Austin metro area.

How are clinic hours structured?

Clinic hours are structured and may be minimally flexible. There might be a slight variation on start and end times depending upon the clinical site, but students will be in clinic 8 hours per day, three days per week. Clinic start time might be as early as 6 a.m. and run as late as 4 p.m. Facilities will work with faculty to determine the days and times best suited for student clinical experience based upon department workflow.

There are strict guidelines that must be followed in order to provide a good learning experience for the student and minimize liability for the clinical affiliate:

  • The program has sole discretion on the clinical placement of the student.
  • The clinical affiliate may decline a student at any time for any reason.
  • Clinical hours can only be completed at an approved clinical affiliate.
  • The hours are negotiated per student withinthe above hours and clinical affiliates hours and supervising technologist availability.
  • Only one student can be scheduled for clinical hours at a time, including students from other programs and employees in training.
  • Declared students cannot perform clinical hours at their place of employment.

As a declared student, can I do clinicals at my current place of employment?

No, you are not allowed to do clinicals with your employer. ​You will be assigned to a different site.

The CI clinical times conflict with my current schedule. Can I change my clinical training hours or days?

There may be limited flexibility available with the clinical schedule. However, the program does not assign clinical hours around a student’s personal or work schedule. It is highly recommended that declared students in the CI program work or have outside commitments of less than 24 hours per week due to the time commitments involved. Declared students should expect to spend up to 45 hours per week on clinical and didactic course work.

Will I be assigned to more than one clinical facility while in the program?

Yes. Typically, you will be assigned to a different clinic site for the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters. However, the option to stay at the same site may be requested by the student and/or the clinic staff. If this request can be accommodated, then the student may remain at the same clinical site for the subsequent semesters.

Are there any safety concerns with training in the CI environment that will prevent me from applying to the CI program?

Safety concerns in the CI environment include exposure to ionizing radiation, iodinated contrast media, hospital grade disinfectants, blood and bodily fluids and disease. However, these sources are of no greater risk than other medical imaging professions.

Who can I contact if I need more information?

Please feel free to contact CI program faculty member Michelle Hamilton, michelle.hamilton@austincc.edu, or the program’s admission coordinator Sherry Niven at sherry.niven@austincc.edu, or phone (512) 223-5882 for more information.

You may also contact one of our Health Sciences Offices.

Search the Health Sciences Website

Cardiovascular Interventional Technology Updates

  • The ACC Early Alert Referral System

    The ACC Early Alert Referral System (EARS) is a new resource hub for ACC students seeking assistance with Academics, Health Care, Child and Family Care, Mental Health, Transportation, Civil Rights, Food Assistance, and more. Click here to visit the website.

    Read more
  • CI Program Application Status

    Fall 2019 applications for the Cardiovascular Interventional Technology Program are now being accepted. The deadline to apply is June 15, 2019 at 5 p.m. For more information, please visit the Application Process page.

    Read more
  • Attention! All students that have not been accepted into an ACC Health Sciences program…

    All students who have not been accepted into an ACC Health Sciences program should declare General Studies in Pre-Health Sciences (Associate of Science) for their major. Once accepted into a program, the student's major will be updated.

    Read more