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.
Site assignments require that students travel and make arrangements for accommodation in out of town sites according to the length of each rotation. The duration of the clinical courses are two and three weeks (two courses) and 14 weeks (three courses). Complete clinical schedules will be available to students three months prior to beginning the clinical year. 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. Whilst it is possible to work during the didactic year, working during the clinical year is unlikely to be feasible. Any work hours must accommodate mandatory labs and full-time clinical rotations.Top
The Perfusion lab is located at the BCIT Aerospace Technology Campus (ATC), on Sea Island, in Richmond, BC.Top
Yes. All students must attend lab classes. Full-time lab classes are scheduled at the end of didactic term 3, 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 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 cost would be approximately $20,000. Perfusion students pay tuition fees one term at a time. Course registration and tuition payments occur on a course-by-course basis.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. We expect to receive 60-80 complete applications. That means that for every seat in the program, there are more than six applicants who have met all the entrance requirements. Meeting minimum entrance requirements does not guarantee you will be selected for the second, Multiple-Mini Interview (MMI), stage of the competitive entry process. Only a portion of interviewees are then selected for admission.Top
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.
In addition to completing all of the required prerequisites, successful applicants typically have the following profile:
You should only apply to the program when you have fully met all the academic requirements. An application cannot compete in the selection process with incomplete admissions prerequisites.Top
With the exception of English, it is highly recommended (but not required) for course work to have been completed within five years of the program start date. Remember that the selection process is extremely competitive.Top
A strong GPA is preferred in that it shows an aptitude for post-secondary course work, but numerical grades are just one piece of the larger picture. Successful candidates are well-rounded. Selected applicants often possess consistently strong marks, as well as a Bachelor’s Degree with emphasis on human anatomy and physiology, a demonstrated interest in the field, and relevant recent volunteer or work experience.Top
Read the program website completely and carefully, paying particular attention to the 'Program Entry' page. This webpage sets out what is required to put together a complete application package.
Ensure that you have researched what it means to be a perfusionist and are aware of the scope of the work involved. The program looks for well-rounded individuals who will be successful both as students and as future cardiovascular perfusionists.Top
Direct patient care experience includes the application of the following types of skills:
If you do not have patient care expeience, you can take CARD 1186 or submit official transcripts proving you have completed an equivalent post-secondary course focusing on patient care.Top
Melanie Beggs-Murray, BCIT Program Assistant
Robert Chalus, 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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