Colleges with Perfusionist Training Programs
Read about the job duties of perfusionists, who assist in open-heart surgeries. Explore what you'd learn in a bachelor's degree program in this field, such as a perfusion technology program. Get info about master's-level programs as well, and review the requirements for becoming certified as a clinical perfusionist. Schools offering Allied Health degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
Perfusionists can acquire professional training through bachelor's and master's degree programs. Certain clinical or certification requirements may be necessary to enroll or complete the program.
What Does a Perfusionist Do?
A perfusionist is an allied health technician who works as part of an open-heart surgery team. During surgery, the perfusionist operates the cardiopulmonary bypass pump, also known as the heart-lung machine, which pumps and oxygenates the patient's blood. He or she also might analyze blood gases, stop bleeding and operate intra-aortic balloon pumps or other life-support devices.
What Are Undergraduate Programs Like?
Many colleges and universities offer perfusionist training in the form of Bachelor of Science in Cardiovascular Perfusion or Bachelor of Science in Perfusion Technology programs. Some programs mandate experience as a certified clinical perfusionist or other medical professional prior to admission. Many schools also ask that you complete a clinical internship or shadow a perfusionist to better understand the field. Whichever program you choose, you'll gain an understanding of the human heart and learn to perform life-saving medical procedures. Because the training is hands-on, online programs are rare.
Which Schools Offer Bachelor's Degrees for Perfusionists?
Bachelor's degrees for perfusionists are readily available. Some schools pair these degrees with a graduate program.
- SUNY Upstate Medical University offers a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree program in Cardiovascular Perfusion
- Barry University delivers a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree program in Cardiovascular Perfusion
- The Medical University of South Carolina offers a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree program in Cardiovascular Perfusion
Can I Earn A Master's Degree?
Once you have fulfilled your undergraduate studies, you can further your perfusionist training by earning a Master of Science in Cardiovascular Perfusion. Graduate programs are often very selective. Your program likely will last two years and will build on your undergraduate training by teaching you about complex cardiac procedures, ways to administer blood products and medication and ways to work with physicians to determine care plans for patients with heart conditions. You also might have to take part in a clinical internship, through which you'll put your classroom studies to the test by working with physicians in a hospital operating room.
Which Schools Offer Master's Degrees for Perfusionists?
Master's degree programs in perfusion technology are offered in a variety of pathways. These are some of the programs available at this level.
- Rush University offers a Master of Science (M.S.) degree program in Perfusion Technology
- Long Island University Post has a Master of Science (M.S.) degree program in Cardiovascular Perfusion
- The Milwaukee School of Engineering offers a Master of Science in Perfusion (M.S.P.) degree program
How Do I Become Certified?
After you complete your academic training, you can become a certified clinical perfusionist by passing the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion examination. This 2-part test covers all the major aspects of perfusion, including anatomy and physiology, pathology and patient monitoring.
Perfusion technology or a related major like cardiovascular perfusion can be studied at the undergraduate or graduate degree level. These are intensive programs available at some of the nation's well-known institutions.
To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below: