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
12.11.2017
Job Title: Perfusionist # # # # # # # # Job Family (Class): Summary: The Perfusionist sets up and operates heart/lung machines to take on the functions of patient's organs while in surgery. Operates equipment to produce bypass, coronary...
12.11.2017
The Perfusionist is responsible for all clinical cardiovascular perfusion services and provides care in compliance with JCAHO standards and organization protocols, policies, procedures and guidelines. As such, he/she has twenty-four hour...
10.25.2017
University Health - Shreveport, Louisiana Perfusionist Services Prepares, operates and maintains the physiologic monitoring instrumentation and extracorporeal circulation machinery used in cardiac surgery. 
12.11.2017
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...
10.25.2017
The Perfusionist reports to the Chief Perfusionist. Under general supervision, the Perfusionist monitors and controls extracorporeal circulation devises during cardiopulmonary bypass surgery and other related procedures as required to support or...
10.12.2017
- CLINICAL PERFUSIONIST (PRO001N9) Job Description CLINICAL PERFUSIONIST-PRO001N9 Description We are looking for a staff Perfusionist to join our dynamic and diverse team. Our ideal candidate will possess considerable knowledge of those...
12.11.2017
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...
12.11.2017
Perfusionist - Lynchburg General Hospital Lynchburg General Hospital, a member of CentraHealth in central Virginia, has an immediate opening for an ABCP certified perfusionist, with two years or greater experience, to join two professionals. We...
05.01.2017
UI HEART AND VASCULAR CENTER ECLS SERVICES The UI Heart and Vascular Center is seeking a full-time (100%) Cardiovascular Perfusionist to provide quality clinical perfusion services for adult and pediatric patients during cardiothoracic...
11.21.2017
A perfusionist operates extra corporeal equipment during any medical situation where it is necessary to support or temporarily replace the patients circulatory or respiratory function. The perfusionist is educated to conduct extracorporeal...
11.14.2017
This position under general supervision, and according to established procedures, professional standards, experience, judgment and analysis, operates a heart-lung machine and associated equipment to provide extrcorporeal circulation and...
12.11.2017
Serves as a member of the open-heart surgical team that operates the heart-lung machine in order to maintain homeostasis, anticoagulation, and acid base balance during the operative procedure. Works under the direction of the cardiac surgeon,...
09.05.2017
Responsible for the setup and operation of the heart-lung machine during open heart surgery. Assesses and interprets data regarding patient's status in order to identify each patient's needs and provide the appropriate care. Responsible for set...
11.21.2017
This positions main job duties are as follows: operate the heart lung machine during open heart surgery to maintain patients hemodynamic and physiologic parameters; monitor, diagnose, and treat any parameters that are out of acceptable limits;...
12.11.2017
Perfusionist - Perfusion - Mercy Medical Center - FT (Varied) Schedule-Full-time Job-Professional Clinical/Allied Health Daily Schedule-Varied Scheduled Hours per 2-week Pay Period-80 Weekends Required-Occasional Primary...
  1. Perfusionist Monroe, LA St. Francis Medical Center
    Job Title: Perfusionist # # # # # # # # Job Family (Class): Summary: The Perfusionist sets up and operates heart/lung machines to take on the functions of patient's organs while in surgery. Operates equipment to produce bypass, coronary...
  2. PERFUSIONIST Greenville, SC St. Francis Hospital
    The Perfusionist is responsible for all clinical cardiovascular perfusion services and provides care in compliance with JCAHO standards and organization protocols, policies, procedures and guidelines. As such, he/she has twenty-four hour...
  3. Perfusionist 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. 
  4. 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...
  5. Perfusionist II Charleston, SC Medical University of South Carolina
    The Perfusionist reports to the Chief Perfusionist. Under general supervision, the Perfusionist monitors and controls extracorporeal circulation devises during cardiopulmonary bypass surgery and other related procedures as required to support or...
  6. CLINICAL PERFUSIONIST Chapel Hill, NC UNC Health Care
    - CLINICAL PERFUSIONIST (PRO001N9) Job Description CLINICAL PERFUSIONIST-PRO001N9 Description We are looking for a staff Perfusionist to join our dynamic and diverse team. Our ideal candidate will possess considerable knowledge of those...
  7. 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...
  8. PERFUSIONIST I Lynchburg, VA Centra Health
    Perfusionist - Lynchburg General Hospital Lynchburg General Hospital, a member of CentraHealth in central Virginia, has an immediate opening for an ABCP certified perfusionist, with two years or greater experience, to join two professionals. We...
  9. CARDIOVASCULAR PERFUSIONIST Iowa City, IA University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
    UI HEART AND VASCULAR CENTER ECLS SERVICES The UI Heart and Vascular Center is seeking a full-time (100%) Cardiovascular Perfusionist to provide quality clinical perfusion services for adult and pediatric patients during cardiothoracic...
  10. Perfusionist - Surgery - Full Time - Days Lancaster, OH Fairfield Medical Center
    A perfusionist operates extra corporeal equipment during any medical situation where it is necessary to support or temporarily replace the patients circulatory or respiratory function. The perfusionist is educated to conduct extracorporeal...
  11. Perfusionist Boston, MA Tufts Medical Center
    This position under general supervision, and according to established procedures, professional standards, experience, judgment and analysis, operates a heart-lung machine and associated equipment to provide extrcorporeal circulation and...
  12. PERFUSIONIST Worcester, MA UMass Memorial Medical Center
    Serves as a member of the open-heart surgical team that operates the heart-lung machine in order to maintain homeostasis, anticoagulation, and acid base balance during the operative procedure. Works under the direction of the cardiac surgeon,...
  13. Perfusionist Gastonia, NC CaroMont Health
    Responsible for the setup and operation of the heart-lung machine during open heart surgery. Assesses and interprets data regarding patient's status in order to identify each patient's needs and provide the appropriate care. Responsible for set...
  14. PERFUSIONIST Cincinnati, OH TriHealth
    This positions main job duties are as follows: operate the heart lung machine during open heart surgery to maintain patients hemodynamic and physiologic parameters; monitor, diagnose, and treat any parameters that are out of acceptable limits;...
  15. Perfusionist - Perfusion - Mercy Medical Center - FT (Varied) Des Moines, IA Mercy Medical Center Des Moines
    Perfusionist - Perfusion - Mercy Medical Center - FT (Varied) Schedule-Full-time Job-Professional Clinical/Allied Health Daily Schedule-Varied Scheduled Hours per 2-week Pay Period-80 Weekends Required-Occasional Primary...