First in Fort Worth

August 14th, 2014

Never heard of an RPhS? Could be that’s because there’s only one in Fort Worth — Wayne Steppy, radiology tech II in JPS Cardiac Diagnostics. Steppy is one of only 13 people in Texas, and the first in Fort Worth, to earn the registered phlebology sonographer (RPhS) credential.

The credential is not a job requirement. Steppy took the initiative. “At JPS we do ablations,” a non-invasive treatment for conditions such as varicose veins, “and I just felt like I should know more about them,” he said. So he found an online course through the American College of Phlebology, bought books, studied and passed the rigorous Phlebology Registry Examination in June.

Registered Phlebology Sonographer is a specialization that’s developed over the last 20 years, along with the advanced imaging techniques used in ultrasound-guided therapy for varicose veins and venous hypertension, which can cause leg ulceration. In sclerotherapy, a chemical is injected into the vein, causing it to collapse and gradually fade from view. In endovenous ablation, the vein is sealed shut. Both are alternatives to surgical ligation and vein stripping.

Varicose veins affect half of all people age 50 and older, according to the Society of Interventional Radiology.

Steppy has been an ultrasound tech for 12 years, since giving up life on the road as the steel guitar player in the band Del Rio, and has worked at JPS for all but four of them.