Perfusionists assemble, operate and monitor equipment that keeps oxygen-rich blood pumping through the circulatory system. When cardiac surgeons perform open-heart surgery, they rely on a perfusionist to operate machinery that continues to pump oxygenated blood through the patient.
The curriculum of a perfusionist’s educational program balances clinical experience with classroom training on cardiopulmonary bypass procedures. Students take advanced courses on human anatomy and physiology. Programs may also include topics in management, pharmacology, ethics and biostatistics. Training involves classroom settings and hospital rotation.