Perfusionist - Job Description, Duties, Education, Skills, Salary, & Growth

Perfusionist

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Job Description

 

Cardiac surgery, by its very nature, requires that the surgeon work on an still heart. To do this, it is necessary to temporarily replace the patient’s respiratory and circulatory functions.

The perfusionist is the specialized healthcare professional that is responsible for assuming the function of the heart and/or the lungs while the surgeon is performing these medical procedures.

In short, a perfusionist operates a heart-lung machine. This is an artificial blood pump which moves oxygenated blood to the patient’s body tissues while the surgeon operates on the non-beating heart.

It is the perfusionist’s responsibility to manage the metabolic and physiological demands of the patient during the procedure. The perfusionist is also responsible for delivering the drug that stops the heart.

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Responsibilities

 

Perfusionists are responsible for preparation of the heart-lung machine and any other equipment critical to the specific operation.

The perfusionist must verify the functionality of the equipment. When the patient is connected to the machine, the perfusionist will continuously monitor the patient’s status to manage the rate of blood circulation, balance the hemodynamics, maintain body temperature, stabilize blood composition and oversee other monitoring devices. 

The primary surgeon will work with the anesthesiology team to direct any use of pharmacological interventions or blood transfusions-- both of which are carried out by the perfusionist.

It is imperative that the perfusionist remain in close communication with the surgical team to keep them informed of the patient’s condition throughout the surgery.

All of these health care professionals working together must focus on the patient’s needs to ensure a successful outcome.

The perfusionist will be responsible for measuring various blood parameters and other indicators to identify appropriate mechanical intervention techniques, appropriate pharmacological treatments, and precise thermal manipulation techniques needed to maintain a viable physiological condition in the patient. 

The perfusionist must have a thorough knowledge of the equipment available to perform extracorporeal circulation function.

A perfusionist is expected to consult with the surgeon to help in selecting the appropriate equipment and techniques to be utilized during surgery.

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Skills

 

In order to successfully perform his or her duties, the perfusionist must have a complete understanding of both the circulatory and respiratory systems, as well as be able to operate highly sensitive and complex medical equipment.

They need a ton of skills, some of those are the following:

Active Listening

Must give full attention to what surgeons and other people on your team say to you since you work in a highly critical environment.

Communication

Must be able to effectively convey info to those on your team to have positive outcomes.

Critical Thinking

Must use logic and reasoning to determine the best solutions and approaches to certain problems.

Monitoring

Must be able to monitor your patients and determine their status and make corrective action if necessary.

Operation Monitoring

Make sure all the machinery you manage is working properly.

Judgment and Decision Making

Must be able to make decisions and have autonomy in the choices you make. Use logic and skill to judge the best course of action for your patient.

Complex Problem Solving

Must be able to solve complex problems to enable positive outcomes and implement solutions.

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Working Conditions

 

For about 90 percent of the time, the perfusionist will be found in the OR suite where cardiac cases are performed. They may also find their duties expanded to include extending their expertise into the cardiovascular intensive care unit (CIVICU) and cardiac catheterization laboratory.

The perfusionist works as a part of the surgical team. He or she is expected to be current with the patient’s health status and medical history. Prior to the surgery beginning, the perfusionist and the surgeon will collaborate to determine which circulation equipment and which techniques will best serve the patient.

Perfusionists most often find employment in medical centers or third-party perfusion companies. Perfusionists will typically work a scheduled 40-hour week but this may include some nights, weekends and holidays of on-call duty.

On-call responsibilities can be lax or rigorous, depending on the program for which the perfusionist works. In busier facilities that perform a large number of open heart surgical procedures, a team of perfusionists may work shifts to ensure that a trained perfusionist is available at all times.

If not working in a clinical setting, a perfusionist can teach in certification programs, assist with research or work for perfusion equipment manufacturers. 

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Salary Outlook

Title Company Location Posted
04.21.2017
VCU Health System's Perfusion Services is seeking a PRN/Hourly - Perfusionist. Are you a Perfusionist looking to join a highly-skilled team committed to children and their families? Then we might be just the place for you. The Children's...
04.21.2017
VCU Health System's Perfusion Services is seeking a Full-time Perfusionist. Are you a Perfusionist looking to join a highly-skilled team committed to children and their families? Then we might be just the place for you. The Children's...
04.21.2017
Springhill Medical Center in Mobile, AL has an immediate opening for a third staff perfusionist to permanently locate in beautiful Mobile, AL. Duties include equal shares of Adult CPB, platelet gel, call, stocking, autotransfusion, IABD...
04.21.2017
Bachelor's of Science A perfusionist is a highly skilled, allied health professional who is qualified by academic and clinical training to operate complex, life-sustaining, extracorporeal circulation devices. These devices are typically applied...
03.03.2017
University Health - Shreveport, Louisiana Perfusionist Services Prepares, operates and maintains the physiologic monitoring instrumentation and extracorporeal circulation machinery used in cardiac surgery.  
04.12.2017
Like any organization, it's the people that make the difference- Are you ready for the challenge? Do You Know Who We Are? We are Baystate Health- one of the largest health care systems in New England with over 11,500 employees, five hospitals...
02.10.2017
Like any organization, it's the people that make the difference- Are you ready for the challenge? Do You Know Who We Are? We are Baystate Health- one of the largest health care systems in New England with over 11,500 employees, five hospitals...
06.06.2016
Associate's degree is preferred Certification Preferred This position under general supervision, and according to established procedures, professional standards, experience, judgment and analysis, operates a heart-lung machine and associated...
04.21.2017
Full time position. Requiring rotating call. 24/7 coverage. Rotating nights/weekends/holidays. Must be certified by American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion. Qualified applicants must have a minimum of 3 years previous experience. 3-5 years is...
04.21.2017
Perfusionist - Perfusion - Mercy Medical Center FT 1.0 (Day/Varied) Schedule-Full-time Job-Cardiology (Non-Nursing) Daily Schedule-Day/Varied Scheduled Hours per 2-week Pay Period-80 Weekends Required-Occasional Primary...
03.19.2017
Responsible for providing perfusion services defined as those functions necessary for the support, treatment, measurement or supplementation of the cardiopulmonary and circulatory system of the patient. Selects the appropriate equipment and...
12.28.2016
Job Req ID: 121410 Position Number: 00160558 Employment Type: Full Time Shift: Day Shift Details : Day Standard Hours:  40.00 Department Name: Perfusion Location: Carolinas Medical Center...
04.21.2017
Premier Perfusion Partners FT / DAYS / 80 hours per pay The Autotransfusionist provides perioperative blood salvage and point of care testing for surgical patients. The Autotransfusionist will report to the Lead Perfusionist, Chief...
  1. Perfusionist Richmond, VA VCU Health System
    VCU Health System's Perfusion Services is seeking a PRN/Hourly - Perfusionist. Are you a Perfusionist looking to join a highly-skilled team committed to children and their families? Then we might be just the place for you. The Children's...
  2. Perfusionist Richmond, VA VCU Health System
    VCU Health System's Perfusion Services is seeking a Full-time Perfusionist. Are you a Perfusionist looking to join a highly-skilled team committed to children and their families? Then we might be just the place for you. The Children's...
  3. PERFUSIONIST Mobile, AL Springhill Medical Center
    Springhill Medical Center in Mobile, AL has an immediate opening for a third staff perfusionist to permanently locate in beautiful Mobile, AL. Duties include equal shares of Adult CPB, platelet gel, call, stocking, autotransfusion, IABD...
  4. PERFUSIONIST I Lynchburg, VA Centra Health
    Bachelor's of Science A perfusionist is a highly skilled, allied health professional who is qualified by academic and clinical training to operate complex, life-sustaining, extracorporeal circulation devices. These devices are typically applied...
  5. Perfusionist: Full Time Shreveport, LA University Health System
    University Health - Shreveport, Louisiana Perfusionist Services Prepares, operates and maintains the physiologic monitoring instrumentation and extracorporeal circulation machinery used in cardiac surgery.  
  6. Cardiac Perfusionist Full Time Springfield, MA Baystate Health
    Like any organization, it's the people that make the difference- Are you ready for the challenge? Do You Know Who We Are? We are Baystate Health- one of the largest health care systems in New England with over 11,500 employees, five hospitals...
  7. Cardiac Perfusionist Full time Springfield, MA Baystate Health
    Like any organization, it's the people that make the difference- Are you ready for the challenge? Do You Know Who We Are? We are Baystate Health- one of the largest health care systems in New England with over 11,500 employees, five hospitals...
  8. Perfusionist Boston, MA Tufts Medical Center
    Associate's degree is preferred Certification Preferred This position under general supervision, and according to established procedures, professional standards, experience, judgment and analysis, operates a heart-lung machine and associated...
  9. PERFUSIONIST Mobile, AL Springhill Medical Center
    Full time position. Requiring rotating call. 24/7 coverage. Rotating nights/weekends/holidays. Must be certified by American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion. Qualified applicants must have a minimum of 3 years previous experience. 3-5 years is...
  10. Perfusionist - Perfusion - Mercy Medical Center FT 1.0 (Day/Varied) Des Moines, IA Mercy Medical Center Des Moines
    Perfusionist - Perfusion - Mercy Medical Center FT 1.0 (Day/Varied) Schedule-Full-time Job-Cardiology (Non-Nursing) Daily Schedule-Day/Varied Scheduled Hours per 2-week Pay Period-80 Weekends Required-Occasional Primary...
  11. Perfusionist Job Memphis, TN Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare
    Responsible for providing perfusion services defined as those functions necessary for the support, treatment, measurement or supplementation of the cardiopulmonary and circulatory system of the patient. Selects the appropriate equipment and...
  12. Perfusionist - CMC Main - FT/Day Charlotte, NC Carolinas HealthCare System
    Job Req ID: 121410 Position Number: 00160558 Employment Type: Full Time Shift: Day Shift Details : Day Standard Hours:  40.00 Department Name: Perfusion Location: Carolinas Medical Center...
  13. AUTOTRANSFUSIONIST Dayton, OH Premier Health - Miami Valley Hospital
    Premier Perfusion Partners FT / DAYS / 80 hours per pay The Autotransfusionist provides perioperative blood salvage and point of care testing for surgical patients. The Autotransfusionist will report to the Lead Perfusionist, Chief...