Perfusionists are highly skilled medical professionals who specialize in providing life-saving blood pumping support during operative procedures on critical organs like the heart, liver and lungs. During such surgical operations, the patients require extracorporeal circulation (ECC) that operate to support the failing organ. Perfusion Technology is used during open-heart surgeries, respiratory failures, kidney failures and other life-threatening conditions. In this article, you will get to about what Perfusion Technology courses entail and where you can pursue around the world.
What is the Role of a Perfusionist?
During highly serious conditions that involve operating on organs, most common of which is the open-heart surgery, the natural heart is deliberately brought to a stop and instead the blood pumping functions are performed via the heart-lung machine. This is done in order to make it easier for the surgeon to perform the operation and make the operation less susceptible to mishaps. Here, the perfusionist handles the heart-lung machine that takes the blood out of the body, performs oxygenation and de-oxygenation functions and re-injects it into the blood vessels. In short the whole circulatory process. He works closely with the surgeon and allied professionals during the whole procedure. It is an extremely advanced and essential job for which specialized training is required. This training forms the core part of Perfusion Technology programs where students are instructed specifically about the responsibilities of a perfusionist.
Types of Perfusion Technology Courses
There are a few ways in which you can enter into a perfusionist profession. Some concentrate on teaching Perfusion as a specific specialization. On the other hand, a few courses may try to give an encompassing understanding of cardiovascular technology or medicine. After graduation, students may venture into Perfusion Technology through short courses or practice. Generally, Perfusion Technology is not offered as bachelors in a lot of places as it requires prior medicinal know-how. Most of the courses also consist of a mandatory research project or dissertation and hospital experience. In the following paragraph, various types of courses have been given a rundown.
Graduate Diploma/ Advanced Diploma/ Certificate
Those who already hold a Science or Medicine-related degree can choose to do a graduate or advanced diploma in Perfusion Technology. In addition to that, relevant experience as a nurse or assistant is also taken into consideration. The course structure is specially designed to incorporate all essential concepts related to perfusion and allied fields. The length of the program may vary around 1.5 to 2 years. In addition to basic anatomy and Physiology, students are trained in organ support devices, perfusion theories and Hemotherapy among other subjects.
This is the most advanced of all perfusion technology courses. It involves advanced study and research about Cardiovascular technology and Medicine as a whole. Detailed knowledge of Cardiovascular Systems, Disease, Heart and Circulation, Microvascular Biology is imparted to the students. The course also focuses on the development of research skills and techniques. The course length may vary between 1 to 2 years depending on the location.
Note: It is advised that the official website of the course-offering institution must be visited for further information.
Universities that offer Perfusion Technology Courses
Following is a list of institutions that offer Perfusion Technology courses or courses related to it:
- Imperial College London
Programs: Cardiovascular and Respiratory Healthcare (Masters, Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma)
- The Michener Institute, Canada
University of Bristol
- MSOE University, United States
Programs: MS in Perfusion
- University College, London
Programs: MSc Cardiovascular Science
Many recent graduates, experienced healthcare professionals, nurses etc. take up Perfusion Technology courses in order to enter the rewarding perfusionist profession. Due to a rise in the need for perfusion experts at government and private hospitals, it offers lucrative options for career advancement. Further, institutions have come to recognize that the inclusion of perfusion experts has led to higher success in surgery rates. The need for quality perfusionists will only increase in the coming years.
This article is an attempt to curate material related to Perfusion Technology programs and institutions that offer them. If you have decided on taking up perfusion as your career choice but can’t seem to find the right university, the counsellors at Leverage Edu can guide you through the whole process so that you can build a lucrative career in this field.