The Ideal Perfusionist: By Nadia Azuero

Nadia Azuero, B.S., CCP, LP

Editor’s Note:

About The Author:     Nadia wrote this piece as a student in 2001, for AMSECT and the student body.  She has been a perfusionist for quite some time, and is a very active contributor here at Circuit Surfers.

Nadia is currently in medical school.

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The Ideal Perfusionist

By:  Nadia Azuero, BS, LP, CCP

As a perfusion student, I wonder of ways of improving myself to become a better perfusionist. It is difficult. But requires plenty of repetition and developing a habit. So, the question is what qualities amount to become an “Ideal Perfusionist?”.

Before this question can be answered, the meaning of perfusion needs to be explained briefly. The definition of perfusion is the injection of fluid into a blood vessel in order to reach an organ or tissues to supply oxygen and nutrients. Perfusionists do just that. Maintain the body while the heart, is temporarily arrested. Maintaining homeostasis is the goal. Difficult, but attainable. So, PERFUSIONists are…

P – perceptive: One who is instructive. Basically a teacher. Patience and practice are required to achieve perfection. The theory and practice as to why a perfusionist does what he/she does is significant in the learning process. Once this concept is embraced, we become one step closer to improving the future of this field.

E – efficient: Efficiency is the act directly to produce an effect with minimal to no effort. Conservation of one’s energy is key. One’s actions should be flowing and not stagnant.

R – responsible: Assuming liability and taking account for one’s actions. Involving the ability to act without guidance or superior authority. This is true. Acquiring ample knowledge prior to the case allows us to be better prepared and be aware of our responsibilities.

F – fastidious: This is a perfusionist in a nutshell. Possessing or displaying meticulous attention to detail, difficult to please, exact. A vague perfusionist is very inaccurate and leads to tragic mistakes. Think about it. We are trying to duplicate the body’s function in maintaining homeostasis.

U – unmitigated: Basically, working well under pressure. Very true. Everyone in the operating room is relying on our skills and judgment.

S – sagacious: Having or showing keen discernment, sound judgment. Anticipating the next move puts the surgeon at ease and helps the case run more smoothly.

I – impetuous: Impulsive and passionate. Quick reactions save lives. Passion for what you do makes for less work. Making the “ideal” status more attainable.

O – observant: Observing carefully increases patient safety and helps the staff work more efficiently. We ARE the eyes of the OR.

N – nimble: Finally, quick, clever in devising and understanding. This is necessary to properly assess the correct course of action in an emergency situation. This trait reduces a tragic patient outcome.

Quite a few requirements? But they are all necessary to become an “ideal” perfusionist. Ample knowledge of any aspect of the field of cardiac surgery, benefits the entire staff, especially the patient.

Perfusion is a very independent responsibility and requires a certain personality and knowledge. Acquiring these skills is difficult and even harder to master them. But with time and dedication we can ideally develop perception, be more efficient, more responsible, fastidious, unmitigated, sagacious, impetuous, observant, and nimble.

Becoming IDEAL perfusionists benefits the future of this field and the cardiac patient.

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