Guide to Becoming a Perfusionist

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

What does a pediatric perfusionist do? How do I become a perfusionist?

Average salary of a perfusionist

Follow these steps to begin a career as a perfusionist:

1. Earn a degree

To become a perfusionist, one must first obtain a bachelor’s degree. When pursuing a degree to become a perfusionist, you have a variety of options. Get a bachelor’s degree in perfusion as the first possible course of action. You can sit for the perfusionist certification exams after completing a bachelor’s degree program in the subject. However, perfusion degree programs may be limited in availability.

If you are unable to earn a bachelor’s degree in a perfusion-related major, you can still complete an accredited perfusion technology program after earning a bachelor’s degree in a science-related major. A perfusionist’s typical undergraduate majors are anatomy and physiology, biology, chemistry, and pre-medicine.

2. Complete a certificate degree or masters degree, if needed

Programs in perfusion technology are available at the master’s degree and certificate levels. You will need about two years to finish the perfusion certificate program, and between two and three years to finish the perfusion master’s program. A capstone research project is likely to be part of a master’s degree program, which will be more comprehensive and may impress some employers.

3. Gain relevant clinical experience

In order to complete your degree or certificate program, you must complete clinical experience. You will be able to practice the techniques you learn in your perfusion program by shadowing a practicing perfusionist and carrying out procedures under their guidance during this clinical experience. To be certified by the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion, you must complete at least 75 procedures.

Additionally, it is advisable to make an effort to acquire any additional relevant medical work experience you can while pursuing your degree. Opportunities for volunteer work and internships may help you find employment. This work experience can help you get ready for a career in the medical field and will look good on your resume.

4. Pass the certification examinations

The American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion offers the Certified Clinical Perfusionist certification. In order to become certified, you must pass two different tests.

The first exam is the Perfusion Basic Science Exam. This exam is a written test with questions in both science and math. After you pass the first exam, some hospitals will hire you as a perfusionist on a temporary basis; however, to keep your job, you must pass the second exam in a certain amount of time.

The second exam is the Clinical Applications in Perfusion Exam. To prove your proficiency in the subject, you must pass this exam, which entails answering 50 additional perfusion procedures in addition to written test questions.

5. Search for available perfusionist positions

You are prepared to start looking for perfusionist jobs once you have obtained the required education, clinical experience, and have at least passed the Perfusion Basic Science Exam. To find open perfusionist positions in your area, you can conduct an online search. After that, read the job descriptions to learn the education, experience, and certification specifications the hiring manager is looking for.

6. Prepare a resume and apply

You must write a resume specifically for the perfusionist positions you are interested in applying for after you have found them. You can highlight your education, experience, certifications, and skills to match the employer’s preferred qualifications by using the information from the job description. You can create a professional resume format with these keywords by using an online resume builder. When you are finished with your resume, go back to the original job posting to submit an online application.

What does a perfusionist do?

A highly skilled medical specialist known as a perfusionist is in charge of operating the cardiopulmonary bypass equipment used during cardiac surgery and other procedures that call for cardiopulmonary bypass in order to maintain the patients’ physiological status. This equipment is in charge of artificially supporting a patient’s circulatory or respiratory function during surgery in order to temporarily replace the heart’s function. Understanding a patient’s medical history, keeping an eye on their vital signs, and selecting the right medical tools and procedures are all part of the perfusionist’s job description in order to keep the patient’s blood flow, body temperature, and other respiratory functions normal throughout the procedure.

Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked inquiries about the job of a perfusionist include the following:

How long does it take to become a perfusionist?

You will typically need to complete four to six years of education to become a perfusionist. Depending on the type of educational program you choose to enroll in, the length of time it takes to become a perfusionist varies. There are certificate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree perfusionist programs available.

Is a perfusionist a doctor?

Although a perfusionist is neither a physician nor a nurse, they collaborate with doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers to ensure the success of surgeries involving the heart or other cardiovascular systems. A perfusionist might choose to pursue further education to become a doctor and advance their career.

What are alternate job titles for a perfusionist?

Additionally to perfusionist, other names for them include perfusion technologist, certified clinical perfusionist, cardiac perfusionist, and cardiopulmonary perfusionist.

What is the work environment of a perfusionist?

A hospital or surgery center’s standard operating room serves as the perfusionist’s workplace. Being a perfusionist will probably require you to stand up most of the day while using bulky machinery and equipment that is essential to the success of the heart surgery.

What shifts can you expect to work as a perfusionist?

The typical work schedule for a perfusionist is full-time, but they may also work a variety of shifts, such as days, evenings, weekends, holidays, and on-call shifts. Depending on their employer’s needs, perfusionists may also need to work more than 40 hours per week.

What is the job outlook for a perfusionist?

The U. S. Perfusionists fall under the classification of cardiovascular technologists and technicians and diagnostic medical sonographers according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The national average job growth rate for all occupations is 3%, but the projected job growth rate for this group of professionals is 14% between 2018 and 2028. This suggests that cardiovascular technologists and technicians, including perfusionists, should enjoy strong job stability and have a variety of career options available to them.


How long does it take to become a perfusionist?

You will typically need to complete four to six years of education to become a perfusionist. Depending on the type of educational program you choose to enroll in, the length of time it takes to become a perfusionist varies. There are certificate, bachelor’s degree, and master’s degree perfusionist programs available.

What qualifications do you need to be a perfusionist?

A good honors degree (minimum 2:1) in a biological or clinical science subject, or a degree in medicine, dentistry, or veterinary science (SCQF Level 10) are prerequisites for entry as a trainee clinical perfusionist. For a science degree course, the entry requirements are 4-5 Highers.

Is it hard to become a perfusionist?

Highly skilled medical professionals known as perfusionists play a crucial role in operating rooms, hospitals, and other medical settings. Four to seven years of education, practical clinical training, and two exams are needed for a career in perfusion.

Is there a demand for perfusionist?

Perfusion is a profession with increasing demand. There are approximately 4,000 cardiovascular perfusionists in the nation. With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, more people are anticipated to seek medical treatment, which will increase the demand for cardiovascular perfusionists.

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