Perfusionist Certification and Professional Development
Become a Perfusionist
- Career Plan: How to Become a Perfusionist
As a perfusionist, you have a high stakes job that requires quite a bit of education and training. Some states do license the profession.
Even if your state doesn’t require licensing, your employer may well require certification. Certification is available through the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion. Examinations are given twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. There are two parts to the examination. You can apply to take the basic science exam when you get to the final stages of your accredited educational program. (Do make sure that the exam date falls after graduation.) You will need to send several documents to the national office prior to testing. One is a transcript. The other documents attest to your practical competency. You must document that you have performed a minimum of seventy-five perfusions and that certain conditions were met. You must also have a written statement from your state’s own clinical competency committee.
In order to take the clinical applications portion, you must submit a case study documenting fifty post-graduation independent perfusions. The actual exam is multiple choice and focuses on applying knowledge to real-world scenarios; the examiners wants to know you can handle a variety of situations, some less common than others. (The documents you submit to the board will have already shown that you perform competently in the line of fire.)
You will renew your certification annually. Every year, you will document a minimum of 40 clinical activities. (The requirement can be met through teaching as well as through clinical cardiac duties.) Every third year, you will also document 45 units of continuing education or other professional activity. There are three categories, and at least 15 units must be in Category 1. Staying current is no small feat! You do have the opportunity of going on inactive status when necessary to meet life’s demands.