Completing perfusion school, searching for employment, and settling in with the new position.
Although there are several perfusion schools in the nation, they all educate students on perfusion technology. Each perfusion student graduating from an accredited institution must pump a minimum of 75 cases in order to complete graduation requirements. Going through rotations, one gets a sense of many variations of perfusion techniques used from institution to institution.
As a student, you get a chance to learn it all. You get a feel of what you’d be interested in and which type of center you’d want to work in. Technically speaking, if you are a perfusionist, you are certified to do it ALL.
Early in perfusion school we learned about embryology and congenital defects. I was interested in the “world of pediatrics” as they call it, and had the opportunity to pursue a double rotation at one of my program’s pediatric clinical sites.
When I was in my last semester of perfusion school, I felt it was the right time to start searching for a position. This phase is extremely important. I wasn’t just looking for a job; I was looking for a career. There were many great opportunities that I encountered throughout my search and got a chance to interview at some of the nation’s greatest centers, and ultimately had to decide where I wanted to begin my career. I took an opportunity at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and joined their Heart Institute.
The first couple of weeks went by in orientation, getting access to various areas of the hospital, and learning my way around. I started pumping soon after, and experienced how it feels like to be the primary perfusionist.
A Perfusionist once told me, “You learn the most your first year out of perfusion school.”
This is the time when the patient’s bypass run is ALL on you. The list of responsibilities seems to increase case after case. It’s not JUST about pumping cases anymore; it’s about patient care outside of the OR. It’s about patient work-ups, following patients, writing reports, and getting involved with not just the perfusion team, but also the institution such as: research opportunities, professional opportunities, and opportunities to give back.
Fortunately, all of these opportunities are available for me here at Cincinnati Children’s. I am thankful for such a great start to my career, and I have much more to look forward to with the progression and future of this field.
Thank you for your support!
SUNY Class of 2012
A Comment from a Japanese Colleague: