The Department of Perfusion Technology provides students with the scientific knowledge and clinical experience needed to become successful professionals in the field of cardiovascular perfusion.
Graduates of the Rush University perfusion technology program are prepared to fill the roles of chief perfusionist, researchers and educators in a variety of health care institutions.
Perfusionist responsibilities may include:
- Operating the heart-lung machine during open heart surgery
- Operating other life support devices, such as intra-aortic balloon pumps and ventricular assist devices (VAD)
- Providing veno-venous bypass for liver transplantation, isolated limb chemotherapy and cardiopulmonary bypass supported cardiac catheterization procedures
- Providing extracorporeal life support (ECLS)
- Salvaging blood for orthopedic or general surgery procedures
Medical experience is desirable. It is also highly recommended that prospective students talk to a clinical perfusionist; and if possible, observe a procedure requiring the use of cardiopulmonary bypass.
The field of perfusion technology is a challenging and rapidly expanding profession. The perfusionist's role now includes surgical and nonsurgical specialties that require the use of extracorporeal circuits, support devices or blood salvaging capabilities.
*The average base salary range for practicing perfusionists is as follows:
- Recently graduated perfusionist: $60,000-$75,000
- Perfusionist with 2 to 5 years experience: $70,000-$90,000
- Perfusionist with 6 to 10 years experience: $80,000-$100,000
- Perfusionist managers: over $100,000
Today's perfusion technologist must be able to:
- Meet the daily demands of the operating room
- Adapt to new technologies and uses for the extracorporeal circuit
- Be part of a profession growing beyond its traditional role in cardiovascular surgery
Photo caption: First- and second-year perfusion technlogy students with chairperson, Wilbur Rapier, PhD, CCP.