Perfusionists operate the cardiopulmonary bypass machine during open-heart surgery, coronary artery bypass, heart and lung transplantation, congenital defect repairs, and valve replacements. Carlow’s perfusion technology program (a joint program with UPMC Shadyside Hospital) is the only one of its kind in Western Pa., one of only 21 programs in North America, and one of the oldest in the nation.
Perfusionists, who are also known as extracorporeal circulation specialists, are technicians whose primary function is the operation of the cardiopulmonary bypass machine during open heart surgery. Perfusionists assist with new cancer chemotherapy techniques termed isolation organ perfusion. Opportunities for perfusionists will continue to expand as artificial organ technology is introduced. Average entry-level salaries range from $50,000-$60,000.
Carlow University is home to one of the oldest perfusion technology programs in the United States and is a leader in the perfusion field. As one of only 21 programs in North America and the only program in Western Pennsylvania, Carlow University provides the tools to succeed in an evolving field. Carlow’s graduates have a pass rate of almost 100 percent on the perfusion technology certification examination. Within weeks of graduation, graduates find employment within the field of perfusion technology.
In cooperation with UPMC Shadyside Hospital, Carlow offers a four-year program leading to a Bachelor of Science degree in biology with certification in perfusion technology. Perfusionists, who are also known as extracorporeal circulation specialists, are technicians whose primary function is the operation of the cardiopulmonary bypass machine during open heart surgery. The perfusion technology program requires three academic years at Carlow as a biology major with a 2.80 minimum GPA, and a three week summer clinical program at UPMC Shadyside that precedes the 17 months of clinical training which replaces the traditional senior year.
Note: Carlow University does not guarantee admission to the Perfusion Technology program. Admission is on a competitive basis.
Candidates must satisfy all requirements for the Bachelor of Science degree in biology, with the following modifications: Anatomy and Physiology I and II, Microbiology, and Pharmacology are specifically required with Biomedical Ethics being suggested. One biology course is waived, as is Senior Experience (BIO 498 and BIO 499). The fourth year of courses is determined by the School of Cardiovascular Perfusion of UPMC Shadyside Hospital.