CVP Curriculum

Semester 1

HTCV111 – Hemotherapy

In this course, the students will examine the principles of hematology, immunohematology and transfusion science as they apply to cardiovascular perfusion. In addition, students will study hemostasis, homologous blood transfusions and component therapy, as well as blood conservation techniques such as auto transfusion and the use of blood substitutes. Students will also learn about adverse reactions to transfusions, and discuss clinical situations that apply to surgical patients.

PCCV111 – Patient Care and Professionalism

This course introduces the learner to patient care and professionalism in the Operating Room (OR). Learners in this program come from a variety of backgrounds and bring with them a broad spectrum of medical knowledge and experiences. This course will provide the necessary foundation for all students to move forward in the program at a more homogenous level. The rudiments of monitoring in the OR including ECG and hemodynamic interpretation, aseptic techniques, and drug solutions are introduced. Many of these topics are expanded upon later in the program. Interprofessional skills such as principles of communication, listening skills, providing feedback, and reflective practice are vital in successfully completing this program and to enter the healthcare environment. These will be explored throughout the course. This 65 hour course is delivered in a variety of methodologies including online learning, lecture, laboratory, and clinical simulation.

PSCV111 – Physiological Science I

This course offers the student foundational knowledge in anatomy, physiology and acid/base. This content is essential for the safe practice of clinical perfusion and vital to the understanding of the effects of extracorporeal circulation.

The course is 78 hours in length. There are 9 units to this course:

  1. Organic chemistry and biochemistry & cellular organization
  2. Tissue level of organization
  3. Metabolism, and introduction to acid-base
  4. Nervous system
  5. Cardiovascular system
  6. Respiratory system
  7. Renal system
  8. Fluids/electrolytes
  9. Endocrine system

PTCV110 – Perfusion Theory I

This course introduces the learner to the fundamental theory and equipment associated with basic perfusion techniques and provides the necessary foundation for the Perfusion Theory II course (PTCV 120). It is a 182 hour course, composed of 2 main sections, the first is the Didactic Blackboard Environment and the second is learning in the Laboratory. The first section, delivered via a distributive learning platform, provides the academic knowledge necessary to complete the laboratory portion of the course. This section is designed to provide an opportunity to the learner to incorporate individual study from notes, textbooks and websites with synchronous and asynchronous discussion with a facilitator and fellow learners. There will be a number of evaluations to ensure the learner is progressing well.

The second section of the course is a residential laboratory period. During this section of the course, the learner will acquire hands on experience with perfusion equipment in a controlled learning environment and will have an opportunity to visit hospitals in the GTA to observe open heart surgery and cardiopulmonary bypass. The labs are structured in such a way as to provide continuity and progression from one lab to the next and a practical exam completes this section of the course. By the conclusion of the course learners will be able to circuit and prime the heart lung machine and operate it in a rudimentary manner.

Semester 2

PDCV120 – Professional Practice

This course builds upon the competencies introduced in the previous semester to lead the learner into exploring the scope of professional practice for perfusionists. Learners in this program come from a variety of backgrounds and bring with them a broad spectrum of healthcare knowledge and personal experiences. This course will review key Canadian documents involving scope of practice and code of ethics of the Canadian Society for Clinical Perfusion (CSCP). The interprofessional skills introduced in PCCV111 last semester including communication, listening skills, providing feedback, and reflective practice will be further developed and applied to peer discussions and case study reviews.

This 26 hour course includes exploration of safety procedures that includes reporting and routine QA strategies for the assessment of new equipment and techniques. The course culminates with a four hour interprofessional clinical simulation workshop scheduled with the UofT cardiac surgery residents where the skills of interprofessional communication and teamwork will be practiced and reflected upon.

PMCV121 – Applied Pharmacology

The course covers a broad range of general pharmacological principles for fundamental understanding and application to extracorporeal science. Coverage will include pharmacological effects on the nervous system, tissue responses, cardiovascular responses and renal/respiratory effects of various agents. Also included will be endocrine and microbial effects. Specific focus will be applied to hemostasis and the practical application and tools associated with the conduct of extracorporeal science by the cardiovascular perfusionist.

PPCV120 – Pathophysiology

This is a thirteen week course that provides the knowledge of pathological mechanisms essential for the understanding of relevant cardiovascular diseases. Identifying and applying these principles in a systematic and integrated manner is required for evidence-based clinical practice as a valuable member of the health care team. This course is offered in the classroom lecture format where each lecture focuses on the pathophysiology of a specific cardiovascular disease or syndrome and encourages interaction and communication among the instructor and students, as well as the students themselves.

PTCV120 – Perfusion Theory II

PTCV120 builds on material mastered in PTCV110 including but not limited to fundamental perfusion theory and equipment required to perform basic perfusion techniques. The primary objective of this course is the mastery of the knowledge required to competently and safely conduct cardiovascular perfusion techniques in the laboratory and to demonstrate functional capacity leading to “readiness for clinical practice”.

This course is 195 hours and is composed of three main sections. The first section consists of didactic learning in the classroom. This includes completion of a major case study. The second section is laboratory-based learning where specific competencies are demonstrated and practiced in a simulated environment. The third section incorporates full day clinical visits to local hospitals where students will observe clinical cases under the supervision of clinical perfusionists.

RMCV120 – Research Methods

This course prepares future health care professionals to make contributions to knowledge through empirical inquiry. Students completing the course will have strong foundations in the Scientific Method and its application to answering questions in health care. Students are expected to integrate previous knowledge from research and statistical courses with the current course. In addition, students are expected to apply concepts in the current course in order to answer a research question.

Semester 3

CCCV130 – Critical Care

The perfusionist’s responsibilities have increasingly meant more time out of the OR and more time in Critical Care Units. This 10-week course will introduce the learner to key aspects of critical care such as the patient care team members, the environment, and acuity of patients. Specific topics covered are artificial airways, mechanical ventilation, monitoring, ECMO, and ventricular assist devices (VADS). The material will be delivered in a lecture and lab format and students are expected to investigate and present an added feature of critical care not covered in the lectures.

CSCV130 – CVP Simulations

This 10-week course immerses the student in high fidelity simulation of common and uncommon cardiac cases. Students are required to complete 8 different cases with a culminating final simulated clinical case assessment. Simulations will use a contemporary heart-lung machine and the Orpheus perfusion Simulator. These cases recreate the actual clinical experience closely and allow the learner the opportunity to pump actual cases, make mistakes and do no harm to the patient. Cases range from simple coronary artery bypass grafts to complex deep hypothermic circulatory arrest. The final case assessment will incorporate a pump emergency as well as a previously practiced case. Students must be successful in completing this competency before proceeding to the clinical education phase.

PTCV231 – Advanced Perfusion Theory

The primary objective of this course is the mastery of advanced perfusion related topics. The student will use acquired knowledge from PTCV 120 required to competently and safely conduct cardiovascular perfusion techniques in the laboratory and apply them to topics that may not be needed on a day to day basis during CPB.

This course is 108 hours and is run over 10 weeks. The student will learn in a number of distinct environments. The first consists of didactic learning in the classroom. The second section is laboratory based learning where specific competencies are demonstrated and performed in a simulated environment. The final environment is in a combined lecture/lab format where topics are learned via lecture and demonstrated immediately in an interactive lab.

Specific topics of the course include intra aortic balloon pumping (IABP), anesthesia, hemodialysis, pediatric perfusion, plasma gel, mini circuits, and pump emergencies. The laboratory will build on basic circuit preparation, simulated case studies incorporating hemodialysis, pediatrics, and 3 pump emergencies. During this course practicing Perfusionists from the clinical sites will instruct the students in the laboratory. This will help prepare students for the transition to the clinical phase of the program.

PPCV121 – Pathophysiology II

Patients coming to the OR or requiring care in the critical care areas are presenting with increasingly complicated disease states. This 10-week course will provide the learner with knowledge of non cardiac pathologies commonly associated with patients requiring a perfusionist’s care. It covers comorbidities seen in the cardiac OR such as diabetes mellitus and chronic renal failure, primary pathologies seen with our patients in the critical care areas that require ECMO such as COPD and ARDS, and pulmonary diseases that may require support before lung transplants such as pulmonary fibrosis, cystic fibrosis, or pulmonary hypertension. This course is taught in a lecture and case study format. In addition, students will investigate and present on a disease state not covered in the course material.

Semesters 4 and 5 – Clinical Education

The Clinical Education period of the CVP program consists of 2 courses, CLCV243: Clinical Practice and CLCV253: Clinical Practice. The principle purpose of clinical education is to provide the student with the opportunity to apply their learning to acquire a satisfactory level of clinical competence and to gain confidence through supervised clinical experience. The clinical training period is 29 weeks in total, divided into the 2 courses plus an integrated Pediatric rotation. The integrated Pediatric rotation may be completed during Phase II or III. Students MUST be prepared to relocate to their training sites. Locations range across Canada from Nova Scotia to Alberta. Students will be granted an opportunity to select their preferred locations but there is no guarantee they will be granted.

CLCV243 – Clinical Practice Phase I & II

This course is a 17 week clinical course composed of two Phases. Each Phase will be completed at a different clinical site. The first Phase is 9 weeks in duration, the second is 8 weeks. The clinical course is structured to allow the student to progress through a series of well-designed levels of graded responsibility. Graded levels of responsibility will be clearly defined by the program along with the methods of evaluating student success upon the completion of each phase. Clinical performance is graded on a case by case basis. The CSCP professional competency profile is used as a reference for clinical attainment. Students will be assessed at the end of each Phase before progressing to the next Phase.

CLCV253 – Clinical Practice Phase III

CLCV253 is the second clinical education course of the Cardiovascular Perfusion program. The principle purpose of clinical education is to provide the student with the opportunity to apply his/her learning to acquire a satisfactory level of clinical competence and to gain confidence through supervised clinical experience. The course is twelve(12) weeks in total and consists of Phase 3 (III) of the clinical education program. An integrated Pediatric rotation may also be included (but this rotation may also have been completed in CLCV243, Phase 2). This clinical training period is structured to allow the student to progress through a series of well-designed levels of graded responsibility. Phase 3 is the final level of graded responsibility of the clinical education program. Students will be evaluated throughout Phase 3 on a case by case basis (through both clinical and didactic methods) and must demonstrate competence at an entry level to practice standard in order to pass and complete the program. Specific professional competency profiles (Canadian Society of Clinical Perfusion CSCP) are references for the program.