Certification in the field of phlebology is offered through the American Board of Venous & Lymphatic Medicine (ABVLM). The ABVLM administered its first Certification Exam in phlebology in 2008, bringing recognition to both the field of phlebology and those providers who have the knowledge, skills and experience to provide quality care to phlebology patients.
The ABVLM maintains a registry of individuals, designated as ABVLM Diplomates, who hold certificates issued by the Board. While the ABVLM is not yet a member of the American Board of Medical Specialities (ABMS), the certification exam is based upon ABMS standards.
For physicians, physicians assistants, nurse practitioners, venous vascular ultrasound technologists, there is the Registered Phlebology Sonographer (RPhS) certification by Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI), which was developed in 2009. This is a unique credential developed specifically for medical professionals who provide care to patients with venous disease.
The RPhS exam, which is entirely focused on venous disease, is distinctly different from the RVT and RVS certification examinations, in which venous disease consists of less than 25% of the exam content. It is a computer-based examination that tests knowledge in clinical venous disease as well as knowledge of ultrasound. The majority of the examination includes questions that focus on patient diagnosis, performance of diagnostic testing, and minimally invasive and invasive treatment of patients with a smaller percentage of the examination focusing on maintain information, facility, and safety and conservative treatment/therapy of patients.
CLT-LANA certification originally came out of a desire to create national standards for lymph therapists. The Lymphatic Association of North America (LANA) was founded in 1999. It was created as a result of the 1998 American Cancer Society Lymphedema Workshop recommendation for certification guidelines for to assure standardization in lymphedema treatments. As a result, the multidisciplinary Board of Directors identified a need for and created a national certification examination for lymphedema therapists. This certification examination focuses on fundamental knowledge that is required in the management of lymphedema. LANA is currently celebrating its 20thanniversary this year.
To be eligible to sit for the LANA examination, proof of the successful completion of a qualified instructional course in Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) is required. This requirement includes a minimum of 135 classroom hours, one third of which is from theoretic instruction (including anatomy and physiology), and two-thirds from laboratory, hands-on-training (such as bandaging, skin care, etc.). There are multiple specialists that may apply for CLT-LANA certification, including occupational therapists, physical therapists, physicians, registered nurses, and certified athletic trainers. In addition, massage therapists who have additional training in soft tissue massage are also eligible. Recertification occurs every 6 years.