If What You Did Yesterday Seems Big…



 – Lou Holtz

So this is a Perfusion Blog, and what does any of that have to do with us?

Well to begin with we weren’t always us.

Most of your old-school perfusionists had probably worked in another healthcare related field for quite a bit of time before earning a ticket or entrance into a perfusion program/school.

High school grads didn’t just sign up for a perfusion major and suddenly start putting people on bypass at the age of 22 or 23.

Becoming a perfusionist wasn’t a reflection of education as much as it was an investment in experience.  The raw ability to think on your feet when under the gun isn’t in any college curriculum, it comes from a combination of self confidence, precision, consistency, and common sense.

Repetition helps.  Ask any resident.

What separates the perfusionist from the pack, is the need for speed.

Not how fast you move- as opposed to the clarity of thought that gets you from point A to point B.

Windows of opportunities are very narrow for us to identify a problem / mistake, find a solution, create a fix, or whatever, and engage it.

Patient survival is measured in the minutes it takes for cellular death to occur due to ischemia.  So it’s a one shot deal.  You either have it or you don’t.

But if you have it, most likely you have it due to the rigors you encountered from experience you gained doing whatever you did before.

Basically?  You are only as good as your last case.  That comes with the turf if you are a perfusionist.

The question of the day is…

  • Are the people getting into perfusion too young and inexperienced?
  • Is the perfusion curriculum in schools today extensive enough to imbue something that that can’t be taught- (the hands on clinical decision making process that can only be accessed through experience)  ?
  • Or is it not as tough as I am projecting… ?

I know how I would have answered these questions at 21- but not sure about my answers now.

Any points of view ?