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
06.17.2019
Responsible for the setup of and the safe operation of the cardiopulmonary bypass machine, intra aortic balloon pump, autologous blood collection machine and associated equipment, as needed, during cardiac surgery or related cardiovascular...
06.17.2019
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...
04.15.2019
Position Summary: The Certified Cardiovascular Perfusionist performs those functions necessary for the support, treatment, measurement, or supplementation of the cardiopulmonary and circulatory system of the patient. The Certified...
06.17.2019
Conducts Cardiopulmonary Bypass (CPB) at a level of competence determined by quality measures set forth in the Department of Perfusion Services Quality Assurance/Quality Improvement Plan. Essential Responsibilities: Sets up and operates...
06.17.2019
Job ID 84472 Full / Part Time: Full-Time Location: Springfield, Massachusetts Regular/Temporary: Regular Cardiac Perfusionist We are seeking a Cardiac Perfusionist to join us, as we discover the latest cardiovascular breakthroughs and...
06.17.2019
PERFUSIONIST CHIEF - PERFUSION SERVICES (UPDATED 2/15/19) Occupational Summary Responsible for the management and coordination of patient care, including personnel and fiscal activities on a unit(s) 24 hours a day. Develop and maintain care...
05.15.2019
We are looking for a staff Perfusionist to join our dynamic and diverse team at UNC Health Care. Our ideal candidate will possess considerable knowledge of those functions necessary for the care, support, and treatment of the cardiopulmonary...
06.17.2019
Occupational Summary Assess, plan and implement the patient care requirements and treatment necessary for cardiopulmonary bypass/assistance before, during or after surgery. Operate the heart/lung machine to support the patient. Work Performed...
06.17.2019
Performs various patient care activities and related professional services necessary in caring for the personal needs and comfort of patients undergoing cardiac, vascular or thoracic procedures requiring the use of a bypass machine, cell saver,...
06.11.2019
Primarily works in the cardiac surgery operating room to provide cardiopulmonary bypass support on adult and/or pediatric open-heart cases. Responsible for the operation of extra-corporeal circulation equipment during surgical and medical...
06.05.2019
Job Req ID: 198024 Position Number: 00167624 Employment Type: Full Time Shift: Variable/On Call Shift Details : Standard Hours:  40.00 Department Name: Perfusion Location: Carolinas Medical...
05.07.2019
Job Req ID: 195429 Position Number: 00107186 Employment Type: Full Time Shift: Variable/On Call Shift Details : Standard Hours:  40.00 Department Name: Perfusion Location: Atrium Health...
04.30.2019
Job Req ID: 194633 Position Number: 00126588 Employment Type: Full Time Shift: Variable/On Call Shift Details : Standard Hours:  40.00 Department Name: Perfusion Location: Carolinas Medical...
06.17.2019
Under limited general administrative direction, and in collaboration with physicians, perfusionist, midlevel providers, nursing staff and patients and families, manages the ECMO program for OUMC. Essential Responsibilities: Advises and...
06.17.2019
The Patient Care Manager - Overhead Cutis Road oversees the daily operations of a multidisciplinary team in three (3) or more assigned clinical departments to provide quality, cost effective care. Qualifications: EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS...
  1. Perfusionist Bowling Green, KY Med Center Health
    Responsible for the setup of and the safe operation of the cardiopulmonary bypass machine, intra aortic balloon pump, autologous blood collection machine and associated equipment, as needed, during cardiac surgery or related cardiovascular...
  2. 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...
  3. Cardiovascular Perfusionist Spartanburg, SC Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System
    Position Summary: The Certified Cardiovascular Perfusionist performs those functions necessary for the support, treatment, measurement, or supplementation of the cardiopulmonary and circulatory system of the patient. The Certified...
  4. Perfusionist Boston, MA Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
    Conducts Cardiopulmonary Bypass (CPB) at a level of competence determined by quality measures set forth in the Department of Perfusion Services Quality Assurance/Quality Improvement Plan. Essential Responsibilities: Sets up and operates...
  5. Cardiac Perfusionist, Full Time Springfield, MO Baystate Medical Center
    Job ID 84472 Full / Part Time: Full-Time Location: Springfield, Massachusetts Regular/Temporary: Regular Cardiac Perfusionist We are seeking a Cardiac Perfusionist to join us, as we discover the latest cardiovascular breakthroughs and...
  6. PERFUSIONIST CHIEF Durham, NC Duke Health
    PERFUSIONIST CHIEF - PERFUSION SERVICES (UPDATED 2/15/19) Occupational Summary Responsible for the management and coordination of patient care, including personnel and fiscal activities on a unit(s) 24 hours a day. Develop and maintain care...
  7. CLINICAL PERFUSIONIST - UNC MEDICAL CENTER Chapel Hill, NC UNC Health Care
    We are looking for a staff Perfusionist to join our dynamic and diverse team at UNC Health Care. Our ideal candidate will possess considerable knowledge of those functions necessary for the care, support, and treatment of the cardiopulmonary...
  8. PERFUSIONIST Durham, NC Duke Health
    Occupational Summary Assess, plan and implement the patient care requirements and treatment necessary for cardiopulmonary bypass/assistance before, during or after surgery. Operate the heart/lung machine to support the patient. Work Performed...
  9. Perfusionist (PRN) Lake Charles, LA Lake Charles Memorial Hospital
    Performs various patient care activities and related professional services necessary in caring for the personal needs and comfort of patients undergoing cardiac, vascular or thoracic procedures requiring the use of a bypass machine, cell saver,...
  10. Perfusionist - CV Surgery Rochester, MN Mayo Clinic Campus in Minnesota
    Primarily works in the cardiac surgery operating room to provide cardiopulmonary bypass support on adult and/or pediatric open-heart cases. Responsible for the operation of extra-corporeal circulation equipment during surgical and medical...
  11. Perfusionist CMC Main Charlotte, NC Carolinas HealthCare System
    Job Req ID: 198024 Position Number: 00167624 Employment Type: Full Time Shift: Variable/On Call Shift Details : Standard Hours:  40.00 Department Name: Perfusion Location: Carolinas Medical...
  12. Perfusionist Atrium Health Pineville Charlotte, NC Carolinas HealthCare System
    Job Req ID: 195429 Position Number: 00107186 Employment Type: Full Time Shift: Variable/On Call Shift Details : Standard Hours:  40.00 Department Name: Perfusion Location: Atrium Health...
  13. Perfusionist Carolinas Medical Center Charlotte, NC Carolinas HealthCare System
    Job Req ID: 194633 Position Number: 00126588 Employment Type: Full Time Shift: Variable/On Call Shift Details : Standard Hours:  40.00 Department Name: Perfusion Location: Carolinas Medical...
  14. Adult ECMO Program Manager - Cardiology Admin Oklahoma City, OK OU Medicine
    Under limited general administrative direction, and in collaboration with physicians, perfusionist, midlevel providers, nursing staff and patients and families, manages the ECMO program for OUMC. Essential Responsibilities: Advises and...
  15. Patient Care Manager (Clinician) Urbana, IL Carle Foundation
    The Patient Care Manager - Overhead Cutis Road oversees the daily operations of a multidisciplinary team in three (3) or more assigned clinical departments to provide quality, cost effective care. Qualifications: EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS...