Lawrence Technological University in Southfield is launching a two-year Master of Science in Cardiovascular Perfusion degree program starting in the fall semester of 2022.
The new program is in response to a critical shortage of perfusionists — medical professionals who operate equipment such as heart-lung machines. Once underway, it will be the only perfusion degree program in Michigan. The offering will be managed by LTU’s Department of Biomedical Engineering.
Tarek Sobh, LTU’s provost and vice president of academic affairs said 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.”
The degree offering is built on a partnership with Plymouth-based Comprehensive Cares Services Inc., a provider of perfusion and autotransfusion services to medical centers across North America. There are currently around 4,000 perfusionists in the United States.
The program is five semesters long and consists of 88 credit-hours. Those who complete the program will be qualified to sit for the certification examination of the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion (ABCP).
Courses include anatomy, hematology, patient care, and professionalism, psychology, perfusion theory, critical care, pharmacology, research methods, and clinical practice. Students will also be required to complete a capstone research project and work in clinical rotation assignments.
According to a variety to salary.com and payscale.com, the average perfusionist in the United States make at least $120,000 on average. Its potential for growth in the next 10 years is predicted to be much faster than the average for all occupations.
“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,” says Chet Czaplicka, president of CCS. “We are compelled to ensure our future professional colleagues are provided the best opportunity for superior didactic and clinical training.”
CCS is one of the largest perfusion service companies in the United States and operates advanced simulation laboratories where the LTU students will train. It will provide students with clinical rotations, and its staffers will act as adjunct LTU professors for the program.
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 a minimum grade point average of 3.0 during their undergraduate studies. They also should have taken the Graduate Record Examination within three years of application, complete first aid and CPR training, pass a health screening, and write an essay about why they wish to be a perfusionist.
LTU will also require two letters of recommendation, along with mandatory job shadowing of a perfusionist before 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 of active-duty military personnel, CCS employees, first-generation college students, and economically disadvantaged students.
For overall admissions information, visit www.ltu.edu/admissions or call (800) CALL-LTU and press 1 for admissions.