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
07.13.2018
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...
07.13.2018
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 perfusion,...
07.13.2018
The Perfusionist is a vital member of the cardiovascular operating team. The position requires a specialized healthcare professional who uses the heart-lung machine during cardiac surgery and other surgeries that require cardiopulmonary bypass to...
07.13.2018
Under the direction of the Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery, the Cardiothoracic Attending Surgeons and the Chief Perfusionist of Cardiothoracic Surgery, the Clinical Cardiovascular Perfusionist is responsible for conducting extracorporeal...
07.13.2018
- Perfusionist - UC Medical Center - Perfusion Svcs (048888) Job Description Perfusionist - UC Medical Center - Perfusion Svcs(Job Number: 048888) Description Title: Perfusionist Location: UC Medical Center Department: Perfusion...
06.12.2018
The cardiac surgical team at Tufts provides a fast-paced, challenging environment with a very diverse caseload and opportunities for career growth. The Tufts perfusion team is primarily responsible for the management of adult and pediatric...
07.13.2018
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,...
07.13.2018
Working knowledge of perfusion/extracorporeal technology Ability to apply concepts of basic algebra and statistics Ability to deal with problems involving several variables in standardized or emergency situations Well developed verbal and...
07.02.2018
Location: Springfield, Massachusetts Regular/Temporary: Regular 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...
07.13.2018
Under the direction of the Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery, the Cardiothoracic Attending Surgeons and the Chief Perfusionist of Cardiothoracic Surgery, the Clinical Cardiovascular Perfusionist is responsible for conducting extracorporeal...
06.26.2018
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...
07.13.2018
Performs clinical cardiopulmonary bypass during cardiac surgery, hypothermic re-warming, intraperitoneal hyperthermia, PRP, plasma pheresis, and extracorporeal circulation during LVAD/RVAD procedures on patients adolescent through elderly. In...
  1. 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...
  2. 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 perfusion,...
  3. Perfusionist: Full-Time Shreveport, LA University Health System
    The Perfusionist is a vital member of the cardiovascular operating team. The position requires a specialized healthcare professional who uses the heart-lung machine during cardiac surgery and other surgeries that require cardiopulmonary bypass to...
  4. Per-Diem Clinical Perfusionist Boston, MA Boston Medical Center
    Under the direction of the Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery, the Cardiothoracic Attending Surgeons and the Chief Perfusionist of Cardiothoracic Surgery, the Clinical Cardiovascular Perfusionist is responsible for conducting extracorporeal...
  5. Perfusionist - UC Medical Center - Perfusion Svcs Cincinnati, OH University of Cincinnati Medical Center
    - Perfusionist - UC Medical Center - Perfusion Svcs (048888) Job Description Perfusionist - UC Medical Center - Perfusion Svcs(Job Number: 048888) Description Title: Perfusionist Location: UC Medical Center Department: Perfusion...
  6. Perfusionist Boston, MA Tufts Medical Center
    The cardiac surgical team at Tufts provides a fast-paced, challenging environment with a very diverse caseload and opportunities for career growth. The Tufts perfusion team is primarily responsible for the management of adult and pediatric...
  7. 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,...
  8. Perfusionist Mobile, AL Infirmary Health
    Working knowledge of perfusion/extracorporeal technology Ability to apply concepts of basic algebra and statistics Ability to deal with problems involving several variables in standardized or emergency situations Well developed verbal and...
  9. Cardiac Perfusionist, Full Time, Generous Sign On Bonus Springfield, MA Baystate Medical Center
    Location: Springfield, Massachusetts Regular/Temporary: Regular 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...
  10. Clinical Perfusionist (Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery, 40 Hours, Days) Boston, MA Boston Medical Center
    Under the direction of the Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery, the Cardiothoracic Attending Surgeons and the Chief Perfusionist of Cardiothoracic Surgery, the Clinical Cardiovascular Perfusionist is responsible for conducting extracorporeal...
  11. 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...
  12. Perfusionist (1.0 FTE) Fargo, ND Essentia Health-Fargo
    Performs clinical cardiopulmonary bypass during cardiac surgery, hypothermic re-warming, intraperitoneal hyperthermia, PRP, plasma pheresis, and extracorporeal circulation during LVAD/RVAD procedures on patients adolescent through elderly. In...