Surgeons Operating

About the Pre-Cardiovascular Perfusion Program

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A perfusionist is a skilled allied health professional, trained and educated specifically as a member of an open-heart surgical team responsible for the selection, setup, and operation of a mechanical device commonly referred to as the heart-lung machine. The Pre-Cardiovascular Perfusion program at the University of Nebraska at Kearney will prepare you for higher education in the field, and is designed to be paired with a bachelor's degree.

During open-heart surgery, the patient’s heart is immobilized and cannot function in a normal fashion while the operation is being performed. The patient’s blood is diverted and circulated outside the body through the heart-lung machine and returned again to the patient.


Responsibilities of a perfusionist:

  • Operating the heart-lung machine during surgery
  • Monitoring the altered circulatory process closely
  • Keeping the surgical team fully informed
  • Taking appropriate corrective action when abnormal situations arise
  • Assisting in the conservation of blood and blood products during surgery
  • Providing support to patient’s circulation outside of the operating room

Average Salary: $138,215

according to

8% Projected Employment Growth

from 2020 to 2030 according to

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