If you’ve spent some quality time on our site, you already know the perfusion field is the hidden gem of all modern healthcare careers. While the internet is loaded with web pages on how to become a perfusionist, there are very few pages that take a step back and look at the field itself as a whole.
In 2017, a survey study was published by the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion (ABCP) after surveying certified clinical perfusionists all across America. Let’s take a look at the most noteworthy findings from this study, which was conducted electronically from 2015 through 2016.
The Field is Male-Dominated (But Not For Long)
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The survey revealed that 64.3 percent of working perfusionists that were surveyed are male, while 35.6 percent are female. However, when gender is broken down and compartmentalized by age range, it reveals that there are more female perfusionists than males in each group below the age of 40.
In the age 20-29 range, there is only a 0.4 percent gender difference, with 4.8 percent of the sample entire field being female and 4.4 percent male. The age 30-39 range shows an even tighter gap of 0.2 percent, with 11.6 percent being female and 11.4 percent male. This shows a very clear trend of millennial females entering the perfusion arena and balancing out the field.
A Large Number of Perfusionists Will Soon Retire
One major number the survey revealed is a whopping 44.3 percent of perfusionists surveyed are over the age of 49, with 29 percent falling into the 50-59 age group. The average retirement age in the United States is age 59. The survey also showed that 38.2 percent of all surveyed plan to retire within the next 10 years, while an additional 33 percent plan to retire sometime in the next 20 years.
This shortage could bring a severe danger to the thousands of future patients that will need perfusion services in the years to come. SpecialtyCare is dedicated to doing its part in addressing the perfusion shortage by raising awareness and offering educational scholarships. To learn more, click here.
Most Perfusionists Only Have A Bachelor’s Degree
While there are a few different ways to become a perfusionist (Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree, 1-2 year certificate program), the overwhelming majority of active perfusionists questioned in the survey only hold a Bachelor’s degree. Out of the sample field, 58.3 percent hold a baccalaureate degree, while 30.3 percent hold a master’s degree and 8.5 percent hold a training certificate.
It is also to note that 91 percent (the largest percentage statistic in the study) of the perfusionists were completely satisfied with their training prior to becoming certified. Currently, there are 17 perfusion schools in the United States. For more info, click here.
Some Haven’t Experienced High Fidelity Perfusion Simulation
Here’s another statistic that might surprise you. While the majority of perfusionists surveyed (51.9 percent) have experienced high fidelity perfusion training, 30.6 percent said they haven’t experienced high fidelity perfusion simulation training and have no plans to do so in the future. Another 28.4 percent said they haven’t done it, but would like to in the future.
High fidelity perfusion simulation is not offered at every school, and it was only recently added to the recertification process with the ABCP in 2014, so this explains why a large number of perfusionists have yet to experience it. Stay tuned to SpecialtyCare’s blog section for more on high fidelity simulation.
Many Perform Over 100 On-Bypass Procedures A Year
When asked how many on-bypass procedures they perform annually, 46.7 percent of those surveyed have performed over 100 annually, with 19.1 percent partaking in 101 to 120 cases, and 11.4 percent having 121 to 140 cases. That’s a tremendous amount of hard work and dedication from all our perfusionists out there!