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Top Reasons to Become a Travel Perfusionist with Vivacity Perfusion

Maybe you have been thinking about becoming a traveling perfusionist for some time now, but were wary of making the jump. You already know why being a perfusionist is a great profession, so let’s dive into the benefits and reasons why you should consider becoming a traveling perfusionist with Vivacity Perfusion. Not on

ly will you be able to make a substantial difference for hundreds of patients around the United States saving lives each day, and you will also work with some of the top perfusionists in the medical field while maintaining a work/life balance.

Save Lives & Make a Difference

Working in the medical field we all know that each role at the hospital is essential. Working in perfusion, you will see some very serious cases each day. Being able to handle those cases properly and save lives is just as rewarding as the first life you saved. As a traveling perfusionist, you are also able to make a difference in the lives of the other perfusionists working within the hospitals you visit. Typically traveling perfusionists will provide relief to hospitals whose perfusion teams are understaffed for some reason, and they will be eager to have a break in their schedules.

No Job Shortage 

If there was a definition of job security in the dictionary, perfusion would follow it. According to the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusionists, there are over 3,200 certified perfusionists actively practicing in the United States. Perfusionists are in high demand across the country, meaning you will have no problem finding a job in various states and cities. With the limited number of licensed perfusionists and thousands, upon

thousands of surgeries performed by perfusionists every year, there is a significant demand for more skilled perfusionists.

The Pay

Healthcare workers have top pay as it is, and perfusionists are in the same boat. Along with a lower cost of tuition

 compared to other healthcare careers, your return on investment in your education will be far worth it as you start your career. The average salary of a perfusionist is $129,000 while the average cost of tuition is around $65,000 for two years of schooling. If you are looking for a lucrative career path in that you can increase your salary by 1.5X you will want to become a travel perfusionist. While perfusionists already have a large salary as it is, traveling to hospitals in need for short or long periods can drastically increase your pay yearly and allow you to take time off throughout the year to travel for leisure and do the things you love.

Freedom to Choose Your Location

As a traveling perfusionist, you have a lot of say in where you want to live. There are so many different hospitals all over the country in need of assistance and staffing. Whether you have dreamed of living on the East or West coast or in a beach town anything is possible when you become a traveling perfusionist.

Work Around Your Schedule

Another key benefit of traveling perfusion is taking back your time and working around your schedule. Whether you are a snowbird or prefer warmer weather, traveling perfusion allows you to create your own schedule year-round. You can choose the days, weeks, and months that work best for you. There are plenty of short-term and long-term perfusion assignments available.

Final Thoughts

We hope that this information was helpful if you are considering becoming a traveling perfusionist or looking to go into a career in perfusion. If you feel that traveling perfusion may be right for you, contact us at [email protected] today for more information!


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Reasons to Become a Cardiac Perfusionist

Are you considering becoming a cardiac perfusionist, but are just not sure if it is the right career path for you? No worries, we are Vivacity Perfusion and are here to guide you through the top reasons why joining the world of perfusion will become one of the best career choices you make. Not only will you have the opportunity to save countless lives including children and adults, but you will make an impact on all of those around you.

Not only is there a high demand for cardiac perfusionists, but we at Vivacity are also always looking to add more perfusionists to our team and be a part of your journey to get you working in a hospital. According to the 2021 annual report from abcp.org, only 210 examinations were administered and certified to become a clinical perfusionist (CCP). Out of 245 million adults in the United States, 210 is a minuscule number. So what is stopping you from being a cardiac perfusionist? Not only will you have job security, but you will have a competitive salary in the healthcare industry and be able to change lives each and every day.

Let’s continue on and dive into the details and top reasons you should become a cardiac perfusionist.

 

The Competitive Pay Benefits

The average salary of a licensed perfusionist is over $130,000 per year, and if you are a traveling perfusionist you can expect to make over $210,000 per year nearly doubling your salary. On top of that, you will have a relatively low cost of education compared to other healthcare professionals. The average cost of tuition for a perfusionist is about $65,000. As you can see, traveling perfusionists make more per year. At Vivacity Perfusion, we specialize in contracting perfusionists in hospitals around the United States. That means if you are a perfusionist and want to increase your salary, reach out to us at Vivacity Perfusion for traveling perfusion opportunities.

Training Is Short

According to the American Academy of Cardiovascular Perfusion, a truly effective perfusion training program will require a bachelor’s degree. However, if you have a bachelor’s degree in the sciences already, then you can be well on your way to applying to a two-year program.

Do You Feel That Traveling Perfusion is for You?

If you are a licensed perfusionist or on the path to becoming a certified perfusionist wanting to travel and double your salary, contact us at Vivacity Perfusion to see how we can help you today. We hope that this information was helpful for you as you continue to further your career in perfusion, or as you just start out. Vivacity Perfusion accepts travelers to apply once they have at least two years of experience post-graduation. If you are interested in learning more about what we do at Vivacity Perfusion or getting contracted please reach out to [email protected] for more information.

 


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What Certifications and Licenses are Required to be a Perfusionist?

To become a licensed perfusionist, certification and licensure are required. To practice as a licensed perfusionist, you must receive a certification in Clinical Perfusion from the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion. This involves an exam consisting of two parts. The first section is the Perfusion Basic Science Examination (PBSE). The second part is the Clinical Applications in Perfusion Examination (CAPE). 

At Vivacity Perfusion we provide ECMO and Perfusion Staffing from perfusionists, RNs and RRTs nationwide. As we continue to grow, so does the team that we work with. If you are in need of temporary or permanent staffing please contact us at: [email protected]

At Vivacity, we aim to build long-lasting relationships and quality coverage for hospitals as well as our employees. Continue reading to learn more about what certifications and licensing requirements different states have.

Even if your state does not require licensing, your employer 

may require a certification. You will be able to renew your certification annually and will document a minimum of 40 clinical activities. The PBSE and CAPE are given twice a year. Once in the spring and once in the fall. You can expect the examination to be based on the following topics: 

  • Anatomy & Physiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Pathology
  • Laboratory Analysis
  • Quality Assurance
  • Devices & Equipment
  • Clinical Management
  • Special Patient Groups
  • ECMO/ECLS/Special Procedures and Techniques
  • Catastrophic Events & Device Failure
  • Monitoring

State Requirments 

While every state may have different requirements for licensing, it is important to check with your employer as well as the state you may be practicing in if you are considering traveling for perfusion. For example, to practice in the state of Texas, you will have to submit an online application as well as a license to practice. However, the benefits of traveling for perfusion work are great. Not only will you be reimbursed for your travel, but you will also be reimbursed for your license. 

Below is a list of states that require their perfusion licensure in order to practice in them: As there is a shortage of healthcare workers in general, there is as well an increased shortage of perfusionists in the United States. Currently, there are only about 3,200 perfusionists employed in the United States. This shortage of perfusionists is creating an increasingly larger demand for licensed professionals at hospitals around the nation.

State Licensure

  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • New Jersey 
  • New York
  • Nevada
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Wisconsin

Final Thoughts

As a perfusionist licensed in multiple states, you have a competitive advantage against others which will help your career. If traveling perfusion is something that you are interested in contact Vivacity Perfusion today to see how we can help you find your dream job while maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

 


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How Can Becoming ECMO Certified and Trained Benefit Your Career?

Are you considering becoming ECMO certified to advance your expertise and increase your pay? Well, you are in the right place. There are a variety of benefits to becoming certified. ECMO is a specialty skill set that directly correlates with the medical team in life-saving procedures. Before you can train to be an ECMO specialist, you must already have training as a medical professional. Continue reading to learn more about how ECMO can increase your overall salary and make a much-needed difference in patient care.

ECMO Training

According to Career Trend, “ECMO training focuses on the operation of ECMO machinery, testing procedures that must accompany ECMO treatments, and complications that can occur during such treatments. ECMO trainees must have a solid educational and experiential background in their given fields.” The training involved to become ECMO certified can range from a three-day course or on the job training. This training will prepare you for everything that is needed to become a professional in the field of ECMO.

What Education Requirements are Needed to Become Certified?

To become ECMO certified, you must hold a healthcare degree and specialized training. ECMO specialists are typically registered nurses, physicians, respiratory therapists, or perfusionists. Physicians will need to graduate from a medical school and complete the required residency program. ECMO training courses consist of lectures, water drills, simulations, and bedside time with trained ECMO specialists. Hands-on training is crucial to the success of qualified ECMO specialists.

ECMO Job Duties

  • Monitor the patient’s vitals and overall condition which includes but is not limited to blood pressure and heart rate. 
  • Perform blood tests to determine if there is an infection or disease present. 
  • Follow up with patients after their discharge from the hospital to ensure they are recovering properly. 
  • Conduct research regarding patient care to complete a strategic plan to benefit the patient. 
  • Maintain and monitor the patient while they are on ECMO.

 

ECMO Specialists Salary

The average ECMO specialist salary in the United States is $72,930 per year. As you become more experienced in the field you can expect your salary to increase by $15,000 to $20,000. As a perfusionist, you are also trained in ECMO which is a great way to increase your monthly income and salary. As there is a shortage of ECMO specialists and perfusionists, considering a career in perfusion is a great way to not only make a difference but increase your streams of revenue.

Overall Thoughts

Becoming ECMO-trained and certified is a great move to make within your medicalcareer. It will open a variety of doors for your future career path. ECMO specialists are in high demand and are often always able to find work in a variety of locations and settings. If you are looking to expand your career and make a difference contact Vivacity Perfusion today to see how we can help you further your career in ECMO as well as perfusion.


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How are ECMO Machines Used to Help Covid Patients?

Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (also known as ECMO) machines offer life-saving support for even the sickest of COVID-19 patients. ECMO does the job of the lungs and or the heart which allows one’s organs to recover when they are battling the horrid COVID-19 virus. ECMO is abig part of the medical industry, to treat critically ill patients who need either temporary or permanent support.

While ECMO was not initially intended for COVID-19 patients, many experts were quite hesitant about using ECMO as a treatment. However, upon trying this life-saving treatment, the survival rate for COVID-19 patients increased tremendously with the use of ECMO. According to M Health Lab, “As more centers began to try it, the survival rate mirrored that of ECMO’s use in other forms of acute lung failure, as the team behind the new paper reported a year ago.”

At Vivacity Perfusion, we specialize in providing ECMO for patients suffering from a wide variety of illnesses. By offering staffing to hospitals around the United States, Vivacity Perfusion is at the forefront of offering care for all of those suffering from COVID-19 as well as heart conditions. Continue reading to learn more about how ECMO machines are used to help COVID patients.

How ECMO is Helping COVID-19 Patients

While there is always more to learn in the medical industry, one thing that we do know is that COVID-19 primarily affects the lungs of patients. When your body’s lungs are not working, they can not properly exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide. ECMO support allows patients’ bodies to take the extra time that they need to overcome this virus. ECMO has already been shown to be a promising way to save lives. Just like many other health conditions, the earlier it is treated the better. The sooner severe patients go on ECMO the better their chances of survival are as well as avoiding organ failure that many COVID-19 patients are suffering from.

The Connection Between COVID and Lung Failure

Covid can severely damage a person’s lungs as well as heart. In the most severe of cases, acute respiratory distress syndrome can occur which is another possible complication resulting from Covid. While the patient’s lungs can recover from Covid, it will not happen immediately and that is where ECMO comes into assistance. There is no doubt that ECMO has saved countless lives but it is giving Covid patients around the world a much higher chance of survival.

How Long Does a Patient Need to be on ECMO For?

The time frame that patients are on ECMO can differ from person to person. Typically, patients are on ECMO for only a few hours to a few days. However, in more severe situations this can last weeks. Doctors and physicians work to get patients off of ECMO as soon as possible.

 

Final Thoughts on ECMO as it Relates to COVID-19

ECMO is far from a cure for Covid, but it is reassuring to see the massive amount of growth that it has had for so many families. As ECMO continues to grow from being used in pediatrics to adults, and now to Covid patients, the growth of this life-saving machine is just starting. At Vivacity Perfusion, we are changing the way you as well as your hospital staff perfusionists and ECMO specialists. We offer immediate, reliable pediatric and adult ECMO staffing around the United States.


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How to Become a Cardiovascular Perfusionist?

Perfusionists are trained professionals that perform life-saving procedures in the operating room during open-heart surgery. In order to work as a cardiovascular perfusionist, a solid and informed background in biology, anatomy, mathematics, and other sciences is highly recommended. In the United States, there are currently 18 schools that offer perfusionist programs. 

At Vivacity Perfusion, we have taken the struggle out of looking for a cardiovascular perfusion job and partner expert perfusionists to hospitals around the United States in need. From VADs, ECMO, cardiac cases, and XVIVO lung transplants, our team is at the front lines of today’s most technological cases. Vivacity Perfusion changes the way you staff perfusionists and ECMO specialists. 

Let’s go into the details about how you can become a cardiovascular perfusionist. If you are a licensed perfusionist looking for placement, you can contact us here.

 Becoming a Cardiovascular Perfusionist

Working as a cardiovascular perfusionist will have you under many high stressful situations that require you to have a high degree of skill and judgment as well as being intensely detail-oriented. A cardiovascular perfusionist will have a passion for helping others and for the medical field. While becoming a perfusionist does not require you to attend medical school, furthering your education beyond college is necessary. 

In order to become a cardiovascular perfusionist, you will need to obtain a bachelor’s degree in a field of science such as biology, science, or human sciences. The next step is to graduate from an Accredited Perfusion Technology Program or approved program of Extracorporeal Technology. While there are only 18 perfusion schools in the United States, this may require you to relocate to attend one of these schools. It is highly recommended to obtain an internship or work in medicine throughout your time in school as well as this will benefit you immensely. Finally, you must receive a certification through the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion (ABCP) to become a certified clinical perfusionist (CCP).

To get certified, the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion requires that you have at least 75 supervised perfusions accomplished after you graduate from the perfusionist program of your choosing. The ABCP offers a certification examination twice a year. The test consists of a written section and a multiple-choice exam that covers 11 subjects. The ABCP as well requires that perfusionists get recertified every year. To maintain your certification, you must complete a minimum of 40 cases of clinical activity and receive 15 hours of continuing education credits every three years.

Career Opportunities

Cardiovascular Perfusionist jobs are in high demand and are continuing to rise. There is a projected 12% increase in the field, which is continuing to increase. Job openings and staffing for perfusionists are growing due to the number of people aged 65 and older developing cardiovascular disease and requiring open-heart surgery. The average median salary is $124,000 and requires four to six years of higher education.

ECMO is also used in the following situations: 

  • For patients recovering from heart and lung failure
  • For support during high-risk procedures in the cardiac catheterization lab 
  • As a bridge for patients awaiting a lung transplant, the ECMO helps keep tissues well organized, making the patient a better candidate for a transplant.

Final Notes

Becoming a cardiovascular perfusionist is a challenging but rewarding job. With hard work and dedication, you can become a perfusionist. Vivacity Perfusion was founded by a licensed perfusionist himself who imagined a better way of doing business and 

aims to build long-term relationships with their perfusionists as well as hospitals that we work with. If you are looking to join one of the top leading perfusion teams, connect with Vivacity Perfusion today. 

 


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What is ECMO, and When is it Used?

In the early 1960s, ECMO research began in adults and was soon used for newborns suffering from breathing problems. It is now a life-saving measure used by cardiovascular perfusionists, respiratory therapists, and registered nurses around the world. ECMO is now one of the top respiratory supports for patients suffering from heart and lung issues. 

ECMO uses a life support machine that essentially replaces the function of the heart and lungs for a patient. ECMO is used during life-threatening conditions such as lung damage from infection or shock after a heart attack. A patient can be on the support of an ECMO machine for anywhere from days to weeks. 

As a cardiovascular perfusionist, one of the main jobs is to operate the heart-lung machine during cardiac surgery. At Vivacity Perfusion, our team of skilled perfusionists offers the most advanced technologies available and the best ECMO health care that patients deserve. 

Whether you are a perfusionist, medical professional, or patient, knowing what ECMO is and when it is used is beneficial for everyone. Continue reading to learn more about this life-saving support system.

How Does ECMO Work?

According to the Medical College of Wisconsin, “Originally developed in the 1960s to support newborns and infants with respiratory distress syndrome and cardiac abnormalities, ECMO has only been widely adapted for usage in adults over the last five years.” ECMO machines work by inserting a tube into a large vein or artery through the patient’s neck or chest of the patient in which it is supporting. The oxygenator will add oxygen into the patient’s blood and remove carbon dioxide. ECMO is especially beneficial for patients whose heart or lungs may not be working correctly as the ECMO machine will, in turn, work as the patient’s heart and lungs for them.

A few other reasons that ECMO may be used are to provide help to people whose: 

  •  Lungs cannot provide enough oxygen to the body even when given extra oxygen 
  • Lungs cannot get rid of carbon dioxide even with help from a mechanical ventilator 
  • The heart cannot pump enough blood to the body. ECMO may also be used to support people with heart or lung disease that cannot be cured while they wait for an organ transplant.

When is ECMO Used?

There are two different types of ECMO that may be used. The first is VA which is connected to both a vein and an artery and is used when there are problems with both the heart and lungs. USCF is now using a portable ECMO device that can be carried by one person and transported in an ambulance, making it more mobile and can provide ECMO in emergency cases. 

ECMO is also used in the following situations: 

  • For patients recovering from heart and lung failure
  • For support during high-risk procedures in the cardiac catheterization lab 
  • As a bridge for patients awaiting a lung transplant, the ECMO helps keep tissues well organized, making the patient a better candidate for a transplant.

Final Thoughts

ECMO is a life-saving machine that has saved countless lives and continues to do so. We hope this information was beneficial and provided you with more insight into ECMO and how cardiac perfusionists use ECMO in their day-to-day careers.  If you are a medical professional looking for more information regarding our ECMO program or a board-certified perfusionist looking to join our team feel free to contact us at [email protected] for more information.


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01/Apr/2022

We are so proud that our perfusionists and ECMO specialists support the lung transplant team at one of the best transplant hospitals in the country! See how the team at UF Shands made a difference in Bryan’s life.

As a child, Bryan Klemm was diagnosed with a progressive, end-stage lung disease that would someday require him to get a transplant. After nearly 25 years of disease progression and a declining quality of life, he was referred to UF Health to be matched for a double-lung transplant. To celebrate Doctors’ Day on March 30, Bryan and his mother, Julie, want to share their immense appreciation with Dr. Machuca and the entire transplant team. If you could tell your doctor one thing, what would it be? Celebrate your UF Health physicians this Doctors’ Day. Visit giving.UFHealth.org/doctorsday.


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Cardiac perfusionists are allied health professionals who are trained to operate, maintain, and record the output of a cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) machine, also known as a heart-lung machine. They are an important part of a cardiac surgical team, which include a cardiothoracic surgeonanesthesiologist, cardiac care nurses, and operating room technicians.

Appointment Tips

Generally speaking, you wouldn’t deal directly with a perfusionist prior to surgery but rather with your cardiologist, cardiac surgeon, anesthesiologist, or cardiac care nurse. In most cases, you probably won’t meet your perfusionist unless you are introduced in the operating room.

The only exception may be during an autologous blood collection or when an ECMO machine is used in intensive care. Even in such instances, the perfusionist will be working under the direction of a cardiologist or a similarly senior medical specialist.

Cardiac perfusionists, also referred to as perfusion technologists or certified clinical perfusionists (CCP), are not physicians or nurses but perform as vital a role during heart surgery. Training typically involves two years of focused studies following the completion of a bachelor’s degree program.

According to the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusionists (ABCP), there are over 3,200 certified perfusionists actively practicing in the United States.

Concentrations

The core function of a cardiac perfusionist is the operation and management of the heart-lung machine. Perfusionists participate in heart surgeries as well as organ transplants, certain vascular surgeries, and specialized chemotherapy procedures.

The heart-lung machine is designed to maintain the circulation of blood and oxygen through the body when the natural blood flow is interrupted during surgery. The machine works by pumping the patient’s blood into a membrane oxygenator (which simultaneously oxygenates the blood and removes carbon dioxide) before pumping it back into the body. This replicates the action of the heart and lungs.1

There are numerous surgeries for which a heart-lung machine is necessary:

 

Procedural Expertise

The cardiac perfusionist shares responsibility with the cardiac surgeon and anesthesiologist for the maintenance of vital functions during surgery. By taking over the normal function of the heart and lungs. the perfusionist provides the surgeon the means to operate on a still, unbeating heart.

During cardiac surgery, several thin tubes called cannulas will be inserted to redirect the blood flow. One will drain blood from the vena cava (a large vein that carries deoxygenated blood to the heart) and the other will return blood to the aorta (the artery that pumps oxygenated blood through the body). Depending on the surgery, the cannulas may be placed in other blood vessels or chambers of the heart.

The cannulas are then hooked up to the heart-lung machine, which is overseen and managed by the perfusionist. Among the key responsibilities assigned to the perfusionist:

  • Maintaining and regularly testing CPB equipment, including routine pre-surgical evaluations
  • Selecting patient-specific equipment that will support the cardiopulmonary needs of the patient
  • Regulating the blood flow and blood temperature during surgery
  • Analyzing the blood chemistry throughout surgery (including blood gases, electrolytes, and acid/base balance), making adjustments as needed
  • Administering anesthetics and medications through the heart-lung circuit under the direction of the anesthesiologist or surgeon
  • Employing an intra-aortic balloon pump, when needed, to enhance cardiac perfusion and heart function

The perfusionist may also be responsible for collecting blood from the patient prior to the surgery (known as autologous blood collection) if a transfusion is anticipated. Other perfusionists are tasked with managing ventricular assist devices (VADs) during the recovery phase of heart transplant surgery.

In some hospitals, perfusionists are involved in the procurement of cardiothoracic donor organs, including the heart and heart valves, for transplant.

 

Subspecialties

As an ever-evolving medical profession, cardiac perfusion offers practitioners the means to specialize in specific procedures or populations. Some perfusionists may opt to work in pediatric cardiothoracic surgical units or in medical centers specializing in heart, lung, or liver transplants.

There is even a need for perfusionists who can operate a modified heart-lung machine, called an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) unit, for people with severe heart or lung failure or those awaiting a lung transplant.

Additional training is typically required. Although fellowships have been rare, there now several available to board-certified perfusionists who want to expand their education and knowledge base.

In some facilities, a perfusionist may be promoted to a senior position and tasked with managing junior perfusionists and perfusionist assistants.

 

Training and Certification

In the United States, a four-year bachelor’s degree is required to enroll in an accredited perfusion program. Although no specific undergraduate degree is required, a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, biology, o allied sciences is most conducive to this field.

According to the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), there are 17 such programs in the United States. The programs typically involve two years of classroom-based studies with hands-on clinical training.

Upon the successful completion of the perfusion program, the graduate is considered board-eligible, meaning that he or she intends to obtain certification but can be employed in the meantime. Some states require licensing to practice. Contact your state’s medical licensing board for specific requirements.

The perfusionist student must complete a training program with an accredited academic medical center. After the completion of a minimum of 75 assisted CPB procedures, the trainee can take the first of two board exams (covering basic sciences) from the ABCP.

After completing an additional 40 independent CPB procedures, the perfusionist can sit for the second exam on the clinical applications of perfusion.

After passing the second board exam, the perfusionist will be designated a certified clinical perfusionist and can include the letters “CCP” at the end of their name.


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What does a cardiovascular perfusionist do?

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A cardiovascular perfusionist, also known as cardiac perfusionist, cardiopulmonary perfusionist, or simply, perfusionist, plays an important role in the operating room. Cardiovascular perfusionists are responsible for operating extracorporeal circulation equipment, such as the heart-lung machine, during an open-heart surgery or any other medical procedure in which it is necessary to artificially support or temporarily replace a patient’s circulatory or respiratory function.

Perfusion is the passage of bodily fluids, such as blood, through the circulatory or lymphatic system to an organ or tissue. Because the heart is mainly responsible for pumping fluid through the body, when a patient has a procedure that interrupts the heart’s normal function, a cardiovascular perfusionist steps in to temporarily do the heart’s job. They monitor a patient’s vitals and then select appropriate equipment and technique to manage normal blood flow, body temperature, and other respiratory functions.

Scope of practice

Cardiovascular perfusionists work in the operating room with cardiac surgeons, anesthesiologists, physician assistantssurgical technologistsnurses, and other members of the health care team. They are highly trained to work with patients of all ages who have a number of conditions.

The roles and responsibilities of a cardiovascular perfusionist include:

  • Studying the patient’s medical history and notes to be prepared for the surgery
  • Operating and selecting of a variety of extracorporeal circulation equipment, such as the heart-lung machine, the artificial heart, blood transfusion devices, the intra-aortic balloon pump, and various ventricular-assist devices
  • Monitoring and care management of the patient during surgery to ensure safe physiologic functions
  • Routine administration of various types of blood products and medications to patients during surgery
  • A variety of administrative duties, such as equipment management, supply purchasing, department management, and quality improvement

While they traditionally work with open heart surgeries, their role continues to expand to other surgical areas such as congenital heart defects, treatment of heart disease, and emergency cases.

Work environment

The work environment of a cardiovascular perfusionist is within a typical operating room within a hospital or large surgical center. They may find themselves standing for a majority of their day as well needing to operate heavy and intricate equipment.

Cardiovascular perfusionists generally report the ability to maintain an appropriate work-life balance, but their work shifts vary. While most typically work a 40-hour work week, they are required to work a variety of shifts such as days, nights, weekends, rotating holidays, and to be on call.

Becoming a cardiovascular perfusionist

Many employers look for candidates who are able to work well under stressful situations, show a high degree of skill and judgment, are detail orientated, have strong interpersonal skills, and have adequate knowledge of surgical practices and equipment. Strong candidates also have a passion for helping patients and a love for technology and anatomy.

Higher education requirements

To work as a cardiovascular perfusionist, a strong background in biology, anatomy, mathematics, and other sciences is recommended. After a high school education, most go on to acquire an advanced degree, attend cardiovascular perfusionist school, and obtain certification. The typical path to becoming a cardiovascular perfusionist includes:

  • Obtaining a bachelor’s degree
  • Graduating from an Accredited Perfusion Technology Program or approved program of Extracorporeal Technology
  • Certification through the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion to become a certified clinical perfusionist (CCP)

Once certified, like most health care careers, certified clinical perfusionists are responsible for ongoing training to maintain certification.

Career opportunities and outlook

Cardiovascular perfusionist jobs are available nationwide and have a median salary of $124,000, according to payscale.com. This is widely dependent on experience and qualifications. Because of the small size of this field, most positions are competitive.

Job openings for cardiovascular perfusionists in the U.S. are predicted to climb. One reason is due to the growing number of people aged 65 and older who are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease and require open-heart surgery. Secondly, new procedures for many types of heart disease, defects, and disorders are also increasing, impacting the need for cardiovascular perfusionists.

With additional training and experience, some perfusionists become administrators, educators, researchers, and developers for product manufacturers or move into marketing and sales.

How Much Does a Cardiovascular Perfusionist Earn?


We provide quality staffing, straightforward pricing and coverage you can count on when you need it most. Our expert perfusionists and ECMO specialists are highly trained, certified and flow seamlessly with your team to ensure the best outcomes for your patients. Founded by a licensed perfusionist who imagined a better way of doing business, Vivacity aims to build relationships, cut through red tape, and guarantee that you will never find yourself without quality coverage again.

Copyright by Vivacity Perfusion 2022. All rights reserved.