SOUTHFIELD—A critical shortage of perfusionists—medical professionals who operate equipment such as heart-lung machines—has prompted Lawrence Technological University to launch a two-year, Master of Science in Cardiovascular Perfusion (MSCVP) degree program in the fall semester of 2022.
This will be the only perfusion program in Michigan. It will be managed by LTU’s Department of Biomedical Engineering.
The MSCVP program at LTU is built on a partnership with Plymouth-based Comprehensive Care Services Inc. (CCS), a provider of perfusion and autotransfusion services to medical centers across North America.
There are about 4,000 perfusionists in the United States, working to support life in situations where a patient’s heart and lungs can’t—including open heart surgery, many forms of transplant surgery, and critical care, including complications from COVID-19.
Students in the program “will receive rigorous perfusion education and training with access to leading edge laboratories, simulation suites, and abundant clinical rotation opportunities across the country,” said Tarek Sobh, LTU provost and vice president of academic affairs.
Said CCS President and CEO Chet Czaplicka: “We are very excited for the opportunity to collaborate in the establishment of a preeminent Master of Science in Cardiovascular Perfusion degree program at LTU, here in our home state of Michigan. We are compelled to ensure our future professional colleagues are provided the best opportunity for superior didactic and clinical training.”
After completing the 88-credit-hour, five-semester program, graduates will be qualified to sit for the certification examination of the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion (ABCP).
Courses in the program include anatomy, hematology, patient care and professionalism, psychology, perfusion theory, critical care, pharmacology, research methods, and clinical practice. Students are also required to complete a capstone research project and work in clinical rotation assignments.
According to Payscale.com, the average perfusionist salary in the United States is $124,564 per year. Job growth over the next 10 years is predicted as much faster than the average for all occupations, as an aging population requires more cardiovascular surgery.
CCS is one of the largest perfusion service companies in the United States, and operates advanced simulation laboratories where the LTU students will train. CCS will also provide students with clinical rotations, and its staffers will act as adjunct LTU professors for the program. CCS provides services in more than 200 hospitals in 20 states.
Students will be considered for admission to the program from a wide variety of bachelor’s degrees, including nursing, respiratory therapy, anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, physics, chemistry, and other science degrees. Applicants should have earned a minimum grade point average of 3.0 during their undergraduate study. Applicants must have taken the Graduate Record Examination within three years of application, complete first aid and CPR training, pass health screening, write an essay about why they wish to be a perfusionist, and provide two letters of recommendation. Job shadowing a perfusionist is required prior to acceptance into the program.
Special consideration will be granted to LTU graduates, LTU students, students from colleges or universities with articulation agreements with LTU, veterans or active duty military personnel, CCS employees, first-generation college students, and economically disadvantaged students.
For more information about the program, visit www.ltu.edu/perfusion. For answers to questions about the program, email email@example.com. For overall admissions information, visit www.ltu.edu/admissions or call (800) CALL-LTU and press 1 for admissions.
Comprehensive Care Services, Inc. (CCS), www.ccsperfusion.com, founded in 2002, is a recognized leader in the healthcare industry for providing extracorporeal services to medical centers and large integrated delivery networks (IDNs) across North America. CCS employs over 650 clinicians nationwide including perfusionists, ECMO specialist, neuromonitoring technicians, perioperative blood management technicians, nurses, and coordination staff, all of whom share a common passion for excellence in healthcare. CCS is certified by the Joint Commission.
Lawrence Technological University, www.ltu.edu, is a private university founded in 1932 that offers nearly 100 programs through the doctoral level in its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Business and Information Technology, and Engineering. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 11 percent of universities for the salaries of its graduates, and U.S. News and World Report lists it in the top tier of best Midwestern universities. Students benefit from small class sizes and a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice” education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 107-acre campus include more than 60 student organizations and NAIA varsity sports.