A cardiovascular perfusionist is an essential member of the cardiac surgical team who specializes in operating extracorporeal circulation equipment to support the patient during an open-heart surgery or other medical procedures that necessitate artificial circulatory support. You will learn how to safely operate and maintain patient circulatory and respiratory function with the use of the heart lung machine and other cardiopulmonary assist devices. You will learn how to safely monitor patient diagnostics, maintain homeostasis during surgery, introduce proper cardiovascular support medications, and manage blood loss and anticoagulation.
Graduates are eligible to sit for the Perfusion Basic Science Examination (PBSE) and the Clinical Applications in Perfusion Examination (CAPE) through the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion (ABCP) after completing 40 clinical cases as a primary perfusionist post-graduation.
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Perfusionists are in high demand with only 17 perfusion programs in the country. The advancement in medical technology and the perfusionists role outside of the operating room increases the demand for perfusionists across the country. Graduates will enter a highly specialized career field with excellent job placement, job security, and competitive salary. Certified perfusionists are employed in adult medical centers, pediatric medical centers, education, medical sales, private contract groups, and as travel perfusionists throughout the country.
Jeremy Engel, DHSc, MHS, CCP
Director of the MS Cardiovascular Perfusion Program
School of Allied Health
Founders Hall | FH 395 L
Tel: (859) 572-5726
This program will seek full accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) with the recommendation from Accreditation Committee-Perfusion Education (AC-PE) in the summer semester 2023 per the requirements from the CAAHEP. Information regarding the candidacy status and full accreditation process can be found through the following links.
It is important for students to have clinical experience at various institutions in order to develop the necessary skills and knowledge to be a proficient entry level perfusionist upon graduation. Clinical experience enables the students to integrate perfusion theory to clinical practice. Students will have three semesters of clinical practice at various medical centers throughout the U.S. Students will complete at least 75 adult cardiopulmonary bypass cases and observe or conduct at least 10 pediatric cardiopulmonary bypass cases before graduation.