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
06.23.2017
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 perfusion, recirculation or partial bypass, or to alter blood temperature,...
06.23.2017
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...
06.23.2017
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...
06.23.2017
Perfusionist We are seeking an experienced Perfusionist to join our accomplished cardiovascular team! This professional uses his/her clinical expertise, specialized knowledge of extracorporeal technology, and medical therapy to maintain life...
06.23.2017
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...
06.20.2017
Perfusionist (Job ID: 27193) Cedar Rapids St Lukes Hospital FTE: 1.000000 POSITION SUMMARY The perfusionist in the operating room sets up, operates, and monitors the cardiopulmonary bypass machine during cardiac bypass procedures,...
05.31.2017
The perfusionist is responsible for supporting, supplementing, monitoring and treating patients cardiopulmonary and circulatory system using extracorporeal circulation equipment. Essential Duties & Responsibilities including but not limited...
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...
06.23.2017
University Health - Shreveport Perfusionist Prepares, operates and maintains the physiologic monitoring instrumentation and extracorporeal circulation machinery used in cardiac surgery.
06.06.2017
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...
06.07.2017
EDUCATION: Bachelor's Degree in Perfusion, or graduate of an ABCP recognized Perfusion Program with current, active CCP Certification or eligibility for CCP Certification BLS/CPR (Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers) Certified Clinical...
06.16.2017
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;...
06.01.2017
Job Req ID: 135790 Position Number: 00160558 Employment Type: Full Time Shift: Day Shift Details : Day Standard Hours:  40.00 Department Name: Perfusion Location: Carolinas Medical Center...
  1. Perfusionist Monroe, LA St. Francis Medical Center
    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 perfusion, recirculation or partial bypass, or to alter blood temperature,...
  2. 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...
  3. 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...
  4. Perfusionist Arlington, VA Virginia Hospital Center
    Perfusionist We are seeking an experienced Perfusionist to join our accomplished cardiovascular team! This professional uses his/her clinical expertise, specialized knowledge of extracorporeal technology, and medical therapy to maintain life...
  5. 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...
  6. Perfusionist Cedar Rapids, IA UnityPoint Health - St. Luke's Hospital
    Perfusionist (Job ID: 27193) Cedar Rapids St Lukes Hospital FTE: 1.000000 POSITION SUMMARY The perfusionist in the operating room sets up, operates, and monitors the cardiopulmonary bypass machine during cardiac bypass procedures,...
  7. Perfusionist Burlington, MA Lahey Clinic Medical Center
    The perfusionist is responsible for supporting, supplementing, monitoring and treating patients cardiopulmonary and circulatory system using extracorporeal circulation equipment. Essential Duties & Responsibilities including but not limited...
  8. 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...
  9. Perfusionist: Full Time Shreveport, LA University Health System
    University Health - Shreveport Perfusionist Prepares, operates and maintains the physiologic monitoring instrumentation and extracorporeal circulation machinery used in cardiac surgery.
  10. 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...
  11. PERFUSIONIST Cincinnati, OH TriHealth
    EDUCATION: Bachelor's Degree in Perfusion, or graduate of an ABCP recognized Perfusion Program with current, active CCP Certification or eligibility for CCP Certification BLS/CPR (Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers) Certified Clinical...
  12. 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;...
  13. Perfusionist - CMC Main - FT/Day Charlotte, NC Carolinas HealthCare System
    Job Req ID: 135790 Position Number: 00160558 Employment Type: Full Time Shift: Day Shift Details : Day Standard Hours:  40.00 Department Name: Perfusion Location: Carolinas Medical Center...