Perfusionists are highly skilled professionals who operate life-support equipment such as heart-lung machines, intra-aortic balloon pumps and ventricular assist devices during open-heart surgery. Integral members of the cardiovascular surgical team, perfusionists are present in the operating room when it is necessary to support or replace a patient’s cardiopulmonary and circulatory functions. Perfusionists also provide services for venovenous bypass for liver transplantation, isolated limb or organ chemotherapy perfusion, cardiopulmonary bypass-supported cardiac catheterization procedure; extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and blood salvaging for orthopedic or general surgery procedures.
The 3+2 program between Benedictine University’s Biology (BA) undergraduate program and Rush University’s master’s program in Perfusion Technology combines didactic, diverse clinical experience and research in adult and pediatric settings. The program uniquely features an emphasis on management techniques relative to the hospital perfusion department. Upon successful completion of the certification exam, perfusionists are certified as clinical perfusionists by the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion.
The Rush University Perfusion Technology program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Committee for Perfusion Education of the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
Perfusion technology program graduates are highly desired and successfully employed in a variety of settings, including teaching institutions, major medical centers, community hospitals and private physician and surgeon groups. Salaries for perfusionists range from $58,000 for beginners to $100,000 for experienced perfusionists. Many perfusionists are eligible for advancement to chief perfusionist and perfusion program director. Perfusionists with research skills may collaborate on projects with physicians and researchers.
When you major in Biology (BA) as part of the 3+2 program in Perfusion Technology at Benedictine University, you will follow a three-year sequence of liberal arts and science courses. You are required to maintain a GPA of 3.0 or better. Before March 1 of your junior year, you will have the opportunity to apply to Rush University’s Master of Science program. Successful completion of the entire 3+2 program leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree from Benedictine University and a Master of Science degree from Rush University.
(Please visit the departmental website at www.rushu.rush.edu/perfusion for a complete list of admissions requirements.)