The BCIT Cardiovascular Perfusion program is one of only three of its kind in Canada. A cardiac perfusionist is a key member of a highly specialized surgical team. Cardiovascular perfusionists work in operating rooms, providing life-saving support to patients undergoing heart surgery. It's a serious job, and our graduates are ready.
At BCIT, we believe in real life experience and provide practical, hands-on training. Our students come from the cardiac field with the passion and work experience to succeed at this intensive program.
Visit Program Details for more information on our program structure and clinical rotation.
This program is for certified respiratory therapists, critical care nurses, cardiac professionals or related degree graduates, who:
Interested in working in this specialized field of cardiac care? Program Entry to find out how and when to apply.
Cardiovascular perfusionists are integral members of an expert cardiac surgical team. See Graduating and Jobs to learn more.
Do you have credits from another BC/Yukon post-secondary school? Do you want to know if they transfer to courses here at BCIT? Check out BCIT's Transfer Equivalency Database to find out.
Students learn to use reason, analysis, calculations, problem solving, critical thinking, and other learning skills to acquire knowledge, and to comprehend and synthesize complex situations. Students must be prepared for achieving and maintaining a high level of knowledge and clinical competence, as well as having a distinct awareness of the consequence of error in judgment and/or skill. Under supervision, students are assessed on how safely and effectively they work in often stressful situations.
Clinical site rotations are assigned to students by BCIT faculty. Although student input is used for site assignments, there is no guarantee that all learners will receive their preferred placements. The hospitals listed below will provide clinical placements:
As the need for cardiovascular and open-heart surgeries increases, jobs are opening up across Canada for cardiovascular perfusionists. Many of our grads are offered work in their sponsored hospitals after they graduate.
Students graduate as cardiovascular perfusionists ready to work as members of cardiac surgical teams in hospital operating rooms. Positions start at approximately $42 per hour.
Visit the professional association website to learn more about the work perfusionists do and to find career opportunities:
Being a perfusionist involves:
This is a very demanding program. While it is possible to work during the didactic year, it is not recommended during the clinical year. Any work hours must accommodate full-time labs and clinical hours.Top
The Perfusion lab is located at the BCIT Aerospace Campus, on Sea Island, in Richmond, BC.Top
Yes. All students must attend lab classes. Full-time lab classes will be scheduled at the end of didactic terms 1 & 2, and at the beginning of each clinical practicum rotation.Top
BCIT arranges clinical training for the student. Students will be asked to provide their preferences for clinical placements, but there is no guarantee that they will be assigned to one of their preferences.Top
You are responsible for all personal expenses, including food, accommodation, and transportation throughout the clinical practicum. No stipend is available for any portion of this program.Top
Note: This is an estimate only based on the tuition fees paid by students from the last intake of the program. If all tuition costs and fees are added up over the whole two-year program, the total cost of tuition would be approximately $20,000. Course registration and tuition payments are made on a course-by-course basis. Perfusion students pay tuition fees one term at a time.Top
In addition to the Christmas and spring breaks between didactic terms, there will be two, one week, breaks scheduled between clinical rotations.Top
Admission to the program is highly competitive. In addition to completing all of the prerequisites, successful applicants typically have the following profile:
The questionnaire that is included with the application should exhibit thoughtful, articulate answers to all questions, as these are carefully reviewed in the selection of candidates for interview.Top
You can only apply when you have fully met the academic requirements. An exception can be made if you are in the process of completing prerequisite courses and can submit interim reports which show you have completed a minimum of 50% of the course work at the time that you apply. Please be aware that the program is very competitive and preference will be given to applicants who have completed all of their prerequisites prior to the application closing date.Top
With the exception of English, it is highly recommended (but not required) for Option 2 course work to have been completed within five years of the program start date.Top
Participation in the selection process is not guaranteed to applicants who meet only the minimum entrance requirements. The program selects those applicants deemed to have the best opportunity for success. All complete applications will be reviewed by the program and shortlisted.
Preference will be given to applicants with a strong GPA, Bachelor’s Degree with emphasis on human anatomy and physiology, a demonstrated interest in the field, and related volunteer/work experience. It is important that your achievement demonstrates an aptitude for success.Top
The program looks for well-rounded individuals who will be successful as students and as future cardiovascular perfusionists. Ensure that you have researched what it means to be a perfusionist and are aware of the scope of the work involved.
Be prepared for a formal Multi-Mini Interview (MMI) process. All interviews will take place on campus.Top
Melanie Beggs-Murray, BCIT Program Assistant
Ed Proniuk, BCIT Faculty
Lead Instructor and Perfusionist
Saverio Spada, BCIT Contract Instructor
Chief of Perfusion, Kelowna General Hospital
Robin Wolfe, BCIT Program Head
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