About the Profession

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Perfusionists operate life support devices to support patients’ circulatory and respiratory systems. The perfusion profession is relatively small with fewer than 4,500 practitioners in the United States; however, with the growing elderly population and the development of new heart support devices, experienced, and well-trained perfusionists will be in demand for many years to come.

Some perfusionists also have leadership roles that include budgeting, equipment purchasing, hiring, and scheduling of staff. Graduates also gain employment as researchers, teachers, or consultants to equipment manufacturers.

Perfusionists who graduate from an AC-PE accredited perfusion training program are eligible to take the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion Certification Exam, which is recognized nationally. In addition, some states have a licensing process, which usually includes a requirement for ABCP certification.