The Master of Science in Cardiovascular Perfusion (CVP) is a proposed graduate degree program currently going through the Utah State Higher Education’s required approval process.  It will be housed in the Division of Cardiothoracic (CT) Surgery in the School of Medicine. The CVP is designed to educate students and prepare them with the knowledge, skills, and expertise necessary to graduate as licensed cardiovascular perfusionists. These individuals are vital members of the cardiovascular surgical team as they are responsible for running the heart-lung (cardiopulmonary bypass) machine and are heavily relied on by surgeons. During surgery, they utilize the appropriate equipment to maintain blood flow to the body’s tissues and regulate levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood. Perfusionists are also responsible for measuring selected laboratory values and monitoring circulation. They also administer medicines through the cardiopulmonary bypass circuit, among other responsibilities in the surgical setting. Our program graduates will meet the requirements necessary to succeed in a field where surgical techniques, cardiopulmonary bypass techniques, and new technologies are constantly changing the way we practice medicine.

The CVP program is intended to attract current allied health professionals, recent baccalaureate graduates, and qualified individuals to learn the advanced perfusion techniques needed for successful careers in cardiovascular surgery. The CVP is a 24-month (6 semester) post-baccalaureate degree that begins with three semesters (48 credit hours) of full time didactic and laboratory education, with students also doing clinical observations at the University of Utah hospital. The didactic portion of the curriculum for this program includes: Master’s level anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, perfusion technology, laboratory, research methods, and a masters project. The last three semesters (34 credit hours) will comprise of a clinical phase which includes full-time clinical rotations under the direct supervision of a preceptor at the University of Utah, Primary Children's, and other surrounding Utah and Intermountain West hospitals. All program requirements are aligned with the external accrediting body for the field which falls under the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs who has an Accreditation Committee on Perfusion Education. The MSCP will be seeking external accreditation, as is standard for all educational programs in the field.

This program was unanimously approved by the University of Utah Board of Trustees on December 12, 2019.  Applications for admissions will open on October 5, 2020 and go through January 1, 2021.  Please check back for updates.

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