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Overview

Circulation Technologists - also called perfusion technologists - provide support to surgeons who perform complex cardiac surgery. Not just any kind of support, mind you. More specifically, what they do is provide cardiopulmonary support in situations where it is necessary to temporarily suspend a patient's cardiac or respiratory functions. If you major in Circulation Technology, you'll learn more than you thought possible about heart/lung machines, artificial hearts, and a variety of other devices designed to keep patients alive during cardiac surgery and in intensive care.

Not very surprisingly, Circulation Technology is very hands-on. It's also a complex and highly specialized business that is not for the faint of heart (no pun intended). If you choose it as your major, you are almost certain to find that the significance of time spent in the classroom pales in comparison to the significance of time spent in the lab and in clinical training and internships. You will probably find yourself working with physicians in hospitals and clinics as a college student. While other students are writing papers and waxing philosophical theory, you'll be helping to select and operate medical equipment used in quadruple bypass surgeries and intensive care units.

Employment prospects for the Circulation Technology majors are pretty bright. So long as the occurrence of open-heart surgery procedures continues to increase throughout the United States and the world, circulation technologists will have plenty of job opportunities.

SAMPLE CURRICULUM

  • Basic Surgery and Monitoring

  • Biochemistry

  • Biomedical Ethics

  • Cardiac Anatomy and Physiology

  • Cardiovascular Pathology

  • Chemistry

  • Clinical Internships

  • Human Anatomy

  • Perfusion Technology

  • Pharmacology

  • Physics

  • Physiological Management of Bypass

  • Statistics


HIGH SCHOOl PREPARATION

Circulation technology is pretty rigorous. If you are thinking about majoring in it, take the most advanced math courses you can. Also, take every chemistry, and biology course your school offers. You also want to know your way around a lab as well as possible. Taking a job or a volunteer position at a local hospital or clinic is not a bad idea.