How To Become A Perfusionist

How To Become A Perfusionist

So, you’re interested in becoming a perfusionist, but you don’t know where to start? Don’t worry–making that first step towards your dream career isn’t as difficult as it seems. With the right resources and a little bit of determination, it’s entirely possible to make it in the world of perfusion! Read on for some helpful tips on how to become a perfusionist. 1. An Overview of Perfusionist Careers

A perfusionist is a healthcare professional who operates and maintains sophisticated equipment to manage heart-lung and other life-support machines for patients during surgery. Professionals in this role are highly skilled in the science and technology of extracorporeal circulation and must possess expertise in the physiology of organ systems, cardiopulmonary anatomy, and pathophysiology. Working in the field of perfusion requires strong interpersonal skills to work as part of a multidisciplinary team that may include physicians, nurses, and other healthcare specialists.

Perfusionists may be employed in a variety of settings, including hospitals, cardiac surgery centers, and private practices. They’re responsible for the safe, effective, and efficient operation of a variety of pieces of specialized equipment, including heart-lung machines, ventricular assist devices, auto-transfusion equipment, and cardiac support technology.

2. Steps to Becoming a Perfusionist

Becoming a perfusionist requires education, experience, and certification. The steps to becoming a perfusionist usually include:

  • Earn an associate or bachelor’s degree in a field related to perfusion or cardiovascular technology.
  • Complete a program in an accredited perfusion technology school.
  • Gain clinical experience in a hospital setting supervised by certified perfusionists.
  • Pass the certification exam administered by the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion.

3. Prerequisites for Perfusionist Training

Most perfusionist programs require applicants to have an undergraduate degree in a life science, such as physiology, biology, or chemistry. Some perfusion schools may also prefer applicants with degrees in the cardiovascular system. They should also be proficient in mathematics and physics, as many schools require applicants to have completed college-level courses in both.

4. Perfusion Technology Education & Certification

Most perfusionist programs last two to four years. During their program, students will gain knowledge and clinical experience with medical equipment and techniques used in extracorporeal circulation. Certification to become a perfusionist is required in most states and is administered by the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion, or ABCP.

5. Career Outlook for Perfusionists

The job outlook for perfusionists is good. In fact, the number of jobs for perfusionists is expected to grow by 32% from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average rate for all occupations. With experience and a specialization in an area such as pediatric perfusion, job opportunities are likely to increase. As technology advances, perfusionists can be employed to help with research and development of new and advanced medical technology.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a Perfusionist?

A: A perfusionist is a health care professional responsible for operating and maintaining a heart-lung machine during a cardiopulmonary bypass procedure. They collaborate with cardiac surgeons and other members of the health care team to provide safe care to patients undergoing open heart surgery.

Q: How do I become a Perfusionist?

A: In order to become a perfusionist, you must first complete a bachelor’s degree in an approved health care field, preferably biology or chemistry, with a focus on physiology. You will then need to attend an accredited program and complete the 48 credits necessary to obtain a Certificate of Clinical Perfusion (CCP). After completing your CCP, you must obtain certification through the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion (ABCP). Additionally, most states require you to obtain a state license.

Q: What qualities do Perfusionists need to have?

A: Working as a perfusionist requires a high level of expertise and technical proficiency. To be successful in this role, you must have solid knowledge of cardiopulmonary physiology, strong critical thinking and problem solving skills, strong communication and interpersonal skills, and the ability to work well under pressure.

Q: What is the job outlook for Perfusionists?

A: As of 2019, the median salary for a perfusionist was just over $99,000. The job outlook for perfusionists looks strong, as a growing elderly population and increasing advances in medical technology are resulting in an increased need for cardiovascular health care services. Projections Central predicts an 8% growth in the field from 2018 to 2028.

In Conclusion

Becoming a perfusionist is by no means an easy feat. It requires dedication, determination and understanding of both theoretical and practical components of the job. With the right approach and attitude, you can reach your dreams of becoming a successful perfusionist. But remember, having the right tools and the right attitude is only the beginning.

Perfusionists are essential healthcare professionals who specialize in operating the machines that pump vital oxygen-rich blood from the heart-lung machine into a patient’s body during open-heart surgery. They also play a major role in keeping the blood of the patient free of air and other contaminants. As patients rely heavily on perfusionists for successful open-heart surgeries, the profession requires an immense amount of skill, accuracy, and experience. Here’s how to become a perfusionist:

Step 1: Earn a Four-Year Degree

The majority of perfusionists have a bachelor’s degree, typically in biology, chemistry, or a related field. Those with four-year degrees are more likely to qualify for higher-level positions in the perfusionist field.

Step 2: Seek Certification

Perfusionists need to obtain certification from The American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion. To get certified, candidates are required to have a minimum of four years of experience, attend an approved perfusion program (typically a master’s degree), and pass a series of board-certified examinations.

Step 3: Participate in Clinical/Hands-On Training

All perfusionists must undergo a significant amount of hands-on clinical training. This experience may be completed while in school or through an internship in a hospital setting. During the clinical training, students must demonstrate their ability to understand and use new technologies, perform effectively under pressure, and maintain accuracy in highly intricate and critical situations.

Step 4: Obtain State Licensing

Individual candidates may need to obtain certification or licensure from their state. Many states require applicants to provide proof of a certain amount of experience in order to qualify for their licensing.

Becoming a perfusionist requires both technical and administrative knowledge, as well as years of in-depth hands-on experience. Those interested in becoming a perfusionist should keep in mind that the training lasts for several years and that the upside of the field includes a competitive salary and the availability of many available positions.