Perfusionists operate special equipment commonly known as the heart-lung machine that temporarily takes over a patients respiratory (breathing) and/or circulatory (blood movement) functions. The machine fills the role of the heart and lungs during surgery. This ensures that oxygen reaches the patients body through the blood, even when the patients heart and lungs have been temporarily stopped so that it is easier for the surgeon to work on them. As a member of the surgical team, the perfusionist must monitor the altered circulatory process closely, take appropriate corrective action when necessary, and keep both the surgeon and the anesthesiologist fully informed.
Where to Get Education
Bachelor's and two-years of accredited training necessary for national certification