Cardiovascular Perfusion Program

Cardiovascular Perfusion Program

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About Cardiovascular Perfusion

A perfusionist operates extracorporeal circulation and autotransfusion equipment during any medical situation where it is necessary to support or temporarily replace the patient’s circulatory or respiratory function. The perfusionist is knowledgeable concerning the variety of equipment available to perform extracorporeal circulation functions and is responsible, in consultation with the physician, for selecting the appropriate equipment and techniques to be used.

Perfusionists conduct extracorporeal circulation and ensure the safe management of physiologic functions by monitoring the necessary variables. This can be in the form of cardiopulmonary bypass as well as extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. The perfusionist provides consultation to the physician in the selection of the appropriate equipment and techniques to be used during extracorporeal circulation.

During cardiopulmonary bypass, the perfusionist may administer blood products, anesthetic agents, or drugs through the extracorporeal circuit on prescription and/or appropriate protocol. The perfusionist is responsible for the monitoring of blood gases and the adequate anticoagulation of the patient, induction of hypothermia, hemodilution, and other duties, when prescribed.

On the business side of things, a perfusionist may be administratively responsible for purchasing supplies and equipment, as well as for personnel and departmental management. Final medical responsibility for extracorporeal perfusion rests with the surgeon in charge.

Program Goals

  • Educate students in Cardiovascular Perfusion Technology though an interactive and engaging 12-month course of study proctored by physicians, perfusionists, and healthcare professional who are passionate about educating future generations of perfusionists.
  • Provide students with a dual sided approach to a Perfusion Technology Education, with a focus on didactic study as well as clinical apprenticeship simultaneously.
  • Prepare competent entry-level perfusionists in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains in the underserved areas of North Texas.
  • Provide an exceptional Perfusion Technology Education at an affordable price to all students, regardless of financial circumstance.


The Cardiovascular Perfusion program is a certificate-level, 51-week program divided into three semesters 15-17 weeks in length – Fall, Spring and Summer.

The training program consists of didactic classroom, hands-on laboratory and clinical externship experience with coursework designed to build upon previous courses.

The Cardiovascular Perfusion program is CAAHEP accredited as of May 2022 and graduates may gain employment in a variety of allied healthcare settings, from large hospital centers to smaller surgical units, working as a cardiovascular perfusionist.


Altaf (Al) Panjwani, MS, MBA, CCP, LCP

Program Director and Lead Instructor, Cardiovascular Perfusion Program
BSW THHs Cardiovascular Institute


Alessandro Lione, MBA, CCP, RRT

Clinical Director and Instructor, Cardiovascular Perfusion Program
BSW THHs Cardiovascular Institute
Director of Surgical Services, Regional Director of Cardiovascular Perfusion BSW Health


Dr. Kelley Hutcheson, MD

Faculty and Instructor, Perfusion Education Program
BSW THHs Cardiovascular Institute

Eligibility for Cardiovascular Perfusion

The application process is open to applicants who meet all of the following minimum criteria at the time of program commencement:  

  • 18 years of age 
  • 2-year Associates Degree from an accredited college or university* 
  • Possess the physical and mental qualities required to work in this profession** 
  • Proof of current immunizations and TB test*** 
  • Pre-requisite coursework: Completion with a grade of “C” or better
    • Physics: Either Trigonometry based, or Calculus based; 3 hours
    • Physics Lab: 1 hour
    • Human Anatomy and Physiology: 8 hours
    • Pre-Calculus/Trigonometry or higher; 3 hours
    • Statistics: 3 hours
    • General Chemistry: 6 hours
    • General Chemistry Lab: 2 hours
    • Biology: 6 hours
    • Biology Lab: 2 hours
    • Applied Sciences: 3 hours in one of the following:
      • Biochemistry
      • Organic Chemistry
      • Cell Physiology
      • Cell Biology

*Bachelors of Science degrees or higher are preferred.  
** See "Physical, Interpersonal, Communication, Mobility, Tactical, Hearing and Visual Demands", page 39.  
*** Immunizations must be current prior to school start. 

Provide this list of immunizations to your Primary Care Provider (PCP): 

  • 2 Mumps, measles, rubella (MMR) vaccines or positive titers 
  • 2 Varicella (chicken pox) vaccines or positive titers (history of chicken pox is not acceptable) 
  • Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (Tdap) given after age 18 years 
  • Influenza (flu) only in flu season 
  • Tuberculosis (TB) test (TST within last 3 months or Quantiferion within last 6 months) 
  • Hepatitis B (Recommended, but not mandatory) 
  • COVID-19 vaccination required  

Application Process

Admission to Baylor Scott & White The Heart Hospital – Plano's Cardiovascular Institute is a competitive process and a limited number of applicants are accepted each year. The student should demonstrate a dependable, mature demeanor and interact well with other people. The student should have a genuine desire to care for the disabled and sick, and have the ability to work well under pressure.


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How Do I Apply?

Complete applications with all of the following items must be received by the school. Incomplete applications will not be processed.

  • Completed application form
  • $50 application fee
  • Current resumé
  • Two letters of reference (one work/professional and one personal)•
  • Academic transcript (Official only)
  • Essay (see essay guidelines below)
  • Proof of Basic Life Support (BLS) certification (must be maintained throughout the term if accepted)

Application Essay Guidelines

Your completed application must include an essay about your history and future goals in the field of cardiovascular technology. The essay must meet the following criteria:

  • Two pages
  • 12-point font
  • Double-spaced

Use the following questions as a framework for your essay:

  • Why do you want to pursue a career in cardiovascular technology?
  • How have your prior experiences prepared you for this career?
  • What specific qualities do you possess that set you part from other applicants?
  • Looking beyond graduation, what would you like to accomplish in this field?

Program Cost

The cost of the Cardiovascular Perfusion program is $25,000.00.

Program tuition includes:

  • All administrative fees, lab fees, and required textbooks
  • BSW Dell Latitude laptop (Returned upon graduation)
  • 4 sets of student hospital scrubs

Cardiovascular Perfusion Program Outcomes

There are no job outlook or growth data available at this time from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics for the profession of Cardiovascular Perfusion, which is a requirement from the Texas Workforce Commission-Career Schools and Colleges for reporting.

Student Handbook

As you continue your education here at the Cardiovascular Institute, peruse our student handbook to familiarize yourself with our programs, policies and accolades.


Download handbook

Working Here

We take great pride in the education, expertise and exemplary care that we offer to our surrounding communities in North and Central Texas. Here are some of the great reasons to further your education at The Heart Hospital.

Life at Plano

Plano is one of the best places for professional families to live and work. With excellent public and private schools, low crime and affordable homes, Plano provides a great environment to raise a family. With award-winning schools, world-class recreation, diverse residential neighborhoods, and a resounding hometown spirit among community members, it is easy to see why over 270,000 people call Plano home.

Learn more about life in Plano

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Why Baylor Scott & White Health

With over a decade of excellent cardiovascular care, Baylor Scott & White The Heart Hospital – Plano is known for unmatched quality care for patients and their families. We always strive to provide the country’s top cardiologists and programs to Texas. Our superb care and treatments are internationally renowned and our patients can attest to that reputation – in fact, we have treated patients from 46 states and 12 countries.

Contact Us

Altaf Panjwani MS, MBA, CCP, LCP
Phone: 469.814.3603

Cardiovascular Institute - Cardiovascular Perfusion Program
Baylor Scott & White The Heart Hospital - Plano
1100 Allied Drive, Stuite 5-504
Plano, TX 75093

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