Duties and Responsibilities: Extensive training is needed to be a Perfusionist. There are 21 schools that can teach the special skills needed to become Most programs require applicants to have college-level science and math under their belt. Programs range from one to four years depending on a student’s prior post-high school education, and they grant certificates or bachelor’s and master’s degrees in perfusion science. Classes include advanced physiology, perfusion techniques, pathology, diagnostic procedures, pharmacology, professional communication and health care ethics. After graduation, perfusionists can take the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion’s Certification Exam, which includes a 220-question, multiple-choice test on basics and 230-question, multiple-choice section covering case studies. Some states also mandate perfusionist licensing, and the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion requires continuing education and at least 40 cases a year to keep certification.
Education: Perfusionists are required to complete perfusion training programs, which take a minimum of four years. Many perfusionists choose to pursue a certificate program, first completing a four-year bachelor’s degree and then applying to the perfusion certificate program. Most perfusion education programs require candidates to fulfill prerequisite courses in college-level science and math, and prefer candidates with majors in biology, chemistry, anatomy or physiology. Other programs prefer candidates to have a background in medical technology, respiratory therapy or nursing.
Reflection: I wouldn’t mind being one.