The job of a perfusionist is highly rewarding, especially financially. Here’s an overview about this career field and the associated salary range.
The job of a perfusionist is one of the many medical jobs on which a patient’s life can depend. A perfusionist is someone who operates a heart-lung machine in the process of a complex heart surgery of any kind. She/he assists the cardiac surgeon, and is an important individual in this setting, as it is her/his job to ensure that the patient’s condition remains normal throughout the operation. The heart-lung machine ensures that the breathing and blood circulation of the patient in question are adequately maintained during the surgery. The presence of such a professional is integral to several kinds of surgeries.
Careers in the medical field require you to be highly specialized and licensed by the appropriate council or organization so that you can get the salary suited for the job. Similarly, to practice and get a good salary in this job, you must be qualified as a Certified Cardiac Perfusionist (CCP). This certification is provided by the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion, after you have completed your education from an accredited school and completed a minimum of 75 cardiac perfusions in the course of your education and training. Further, you are required to be certified every year in order to maintain your position in the field, and for the purpose of further education.
Based on the completion of all these tasks, a perfusionist’s salary is determined. The average salary per year is USD 96,144. However, apart from education, the salary also depends on several other factors. It depends on the state you are working in, and the amount of experience you have to back you up. As such, when you start your salary may be anywhere between USD 60,000 to USD 75,000. As you advance, your salary can go up to USD 100,000 and more.
While the prime job of a perfusionist is to operate the heart lung machine to support the patient in the course of a heart surgery, there are some other duties and responsibilities such a job entails.
- It is the perfusionist’s job to review the medical history of a patient, in order to address any complications she/he may be prone to during the surgery. Speaking to the cardiac surgeon regarding the same is essential so as to avoid any such complications.
- Also known as a cardiac perfusionist, it is this medical professional’s job to ensure that the respiration and circulation of the patient are normal during the surgery. Any changes in these have to be monitored, and changes in the heart-lung machine to adjust to the bodily changes are required to be made by her/him.
- Knowledge of setting up and operating the heart-lung machine and making necessary changes to it also come under the purview of a perfusionist’s job.
- They may also be required to administer medication to maintain the body temperature, as well as blood circulation and breathing of the patient during surgery.
To perform these jobs, a perfusionist requires to be practical, but empathetic at the same time. You cannot get overpowered by emotions, and ensuring that you have good communication skills to maintain the calm of the patient is necessary. You should also have good decision-making skills, and should be able to work well in a team, as you will work with several other medical professionals. This job also requires you to be well aware of the machinery you are operating, and methods of maintaining it well.
The employment outlook for perfusionists is great, and the salary range, as you can see, looks promising as well. As such, it definitely qualifies as one of the best medical careers, and choosing to become a perfusionist then, may be a great idea. However, ensure that you are ready to take on the associated responsibilities, and prepare yourself accordingly.