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Candidates for the degree of Master of Science in Cardiovascular Perfusion must be capable of performing in five areas: Observation; Communication; Motor; Intellectual-Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities, and Behavioral and Social Abilities. Students must also successfully meet curricular requirements, pass tests and evaluations, and successfully participate in clinical experiences, with or without reasonable accommodation. Faculty has the right to assess any student at any time. Students must be able to demonstrate they can perform the technical standards upon matriculation through graduation from Perfusion school. Any student claiming a disability and seeking an academic adjustment or reasonable accommodation must follow the procedures outlined below.


Candidates must be able to observe and participate in all activities assigned during didactic and clinical activities.

In order to make proper clinical decisions, candidates must be able to observe a patient accurately. Candidates must be able to acquire information from electronic media, written documents, and discussions with hospital staff (including surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, physician assistants, etc.) to determine the correct plan of action for each patient. Candidates must also be able to observe and make sound corrections to all perfusion equipment including but not limited to: heart lung machines, cell savers, CDI equipment, cardioplegia (CPG) equipment, PRP equipment, ACT equipment, ECMO equipment, HIPEC equipment, heater coolers, and anesthesia equipment (NIRS equipment and BIS readings). Candidates must also be able to observe patient hemodynamics and make corrective actions as is safe and necessary for any patient they are assigned to take care of. Thus, functional use of vision, receptive communication and sensation is necessary.


Candidates must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients and family as is directed by a physician (MD).  This is particularly important in situations where you are in direct care of patients in the cardiac ICU involving patients on balloon pumps, VAD’s, and ECMO equipment. Candidates must also be able to communicate effectively and efficiently with other members of the health care team. Communication includes not only speech or face-to-face communication but reading and writing. In emergency situations, candidates must be able to understand and convey information essential for the safe and effective care of patients in a clear, unambiguous and rapid fashion. In addition, candidates must have the ability to relate information to and receive information from patients in a caring and confidential manner. Since the health care team communicates in English, the candidate must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently in English, in speech or other face-to-face communication, reading and writing.


Candidates must possess the motor skills necessary to perform cardiopulmonary bypass techniques and all other perfusion skills assigned of them. Candidates must be able to execute motor movements reasonably required to provide general and emergency medical care to all types of patient populations. In addition to general and emergency care, different types of specific medical procedures and treatments must be performed depending on the course or clinical rotation, and candidates are expected to perform all of the procedures and treatments as may be required by a particular course or clinical rotation. These skills require coordination of both gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium and integrated use of the senses of touch and vision. In addition, these skills often require a candidate to maneuver his or her own body in different ways to move heavy equipment, set up equipment, manage cardiopulmonary bypass, manage ECMO, and other perfusion related services.

Intellectual-Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities

In order to effectively solve clinical problems, candidates must be able to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, integrate and synthesize in a timely fashion. In addition, they must be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures. Candidates must have the ability to remain awake and alert at all times.

Behavioral and Social Abilities 

Candidates must possess the emotional health required for the full utilization of their intellectual abilities, for the exercise of good judgment, for the prompt completion of all responsibility’s attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients, and for the development of effective relationships with patients and colleagues. Candidates must possess qualities of compassion, integrity, concern for others, commitment and motivation. Candidates must develop mature, sensitive and professional and effective relationships with patients of all genders, ages, races, lifestyles, sexual orientations, religious beliefs or practices, and cultural backgrounds, as well as with their families, with other health care providers, and with all members of the learning and working community. Candidates are expected to accept and assimilate appropriate suggestions and criticism and, if necessary, respond by modifying their behavior.

The unpredictable needs of patients are at the heart of becoming a cardiovascular perfusionist. Academic and clinical responsibilities of students may require their presence during day and evening hours, any day of the week, at unpredictable times and for unpredictable durations of time. Candidates must be able to tolerate physically and mentally taxing workloads and function effectively under stress. They must be able to adapt to changing environments, display flexibility and learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of patients.