Why Cardiovascular Perfusion?

Cardiovascular perfusion is one of the newest and most challenging professions in medicine today. As a cardiovascular perfusionist, you operate the heart-lung machine, a mechanical pump that maintains a patient’s blood circulation and blood oxygen levels while the heart is stopped during open heart surgery. While operating the heart-lung machine, you are responsible for blood flow management, blood gas analysis, and protection of the heart muscles. Perfusionists apply their cardiopulmonary knowledge with cutting-edge technology in a dynamic medical setting.

Critical Member of the Surgical Team

Perfusionists are highly skilled and critical members of the open heart surgical team. As a perfusionist, you mainly work in cardiovascular surgery, but you may also participate in blood conservation, long-term support for respiratory failure, the treatment of cancerous tumors, and organ transplants. Perfusionists usually work in a hospital setting on a rotating schedule and remain on call for emergency situations.

Profession with Increasing Demand

There are approximately 4,000 cardiovascular perfusionists in the nation. The demand for cardiovascular perfusionists is expected to increase, as more people seek medical treatment with the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Founded in 1953, cardiovascular perfusion is still a relatively young industry that is experiencing its first major wave of retirements, opening up new opportunities for recent graduates.

Attractive Earning Potential

Cardiovascular perfusionists can obtain starting salaries of $75,000 or more and advance to an average annual salary of $90,000 to $105,000, depending on where they practice. With increased training and managerial experience in perfusion, salaries can reach into the six figures.

For Further Information

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