Dialysis Technician


Job Description

A Dialysis Technician is responsible for the operation and maintenance of all dialysis equipment. They are the person responsible for administering the dialysis process for patients who are experiencing problems with kidney or renal failure. They must have the ability to record medical information and make mathematical calculations.

Dialysis techs should be in decent physical shape as the job requires lifting and moving of patients as well as transporting heavy containers of chemicals. They also need good communication skills as they are in constant contact with patients who are undergoing the long and tedious dialysis process.

Dialysis Technicians are usually employed by hospitals or medical facilities. The work very closely with the nursing staff.

Duties:
  • Preparation of dialysis machines
  • Conducting patient interviews and recording medical information from patients
  • Explaining and answering questions regarding the dialysis process
  • Administering the dialysis process by hooking patients up to a dialysis machine
  • Monitor the dialysis process and assure the patient is comfortable
  • Record and analyze fluid input/output data during the dialysis process
  • Interact with nursing staff regarding patient's condition during the dialysis process
  • Clean and repair dialysis machinery after each dialysis process
Alternate job titles:

The most common alternative titles for a Dialysis Technician are Renal Dialysis Technician and Hemodialysis Technician.

Dialysis Technician Salary

How to become a dialysis technician

The only educational requirement to become a dialysis tech is the successful completion of Dialysis Technician vocational training program. These programs are usually administered by hospitals, vocational schools or community college.

After receiving the proper training, the prospective Dialysis Technician will be required to obtain both state and national certification from The National Nephrology Certification Organization (NNCO), The Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission (NNCC) and/or the Board of Nephrology Examiners Nursing and Technology (BONENT). Once the exams have been completed with a passing score, the prospect will be certified by the state as a Dialysis Technician within that state only.

How Long Does It Take To Become A Dialysis Technican:

The process of becoming a Dialysis Technician should take no longer than two years to accomplish. That includes completion of the vocational training program (one-year) and another year to study for and complete the required board exams.

Educational Requirements:

As mentioned about, a Dialysis Technician is required to complete a vocational training program related to the field. Prior to entering a community college or vocational school, the individual must have a high school diploma or GED equivalent.

The one-year vocational training program will require completion of courses related to biology, phlebotomy, kidney and renal failure, applicable medical devices, the dialysis process, vascular access, aspects of hemodialysis and patient care. The overall coursework is divided up between book study and practical laboratory work. Further on-the-job training will be provided by the employer.

Certification:

Certification as a Dialysis Technician is a rather cumbersome task. Individuals are required to complete the prerequisite vocational training program with passing grades prior to sitting for their board exams. In the state of Ohio, the individual must also accumulate one year of patient care prior to the exam. The prospect is then required to be certified at both the national and state level.

The national board exam is administered by the NNCO. Their Clinical Nephrology Technology Exam has 200 questions and costs approximately $245. The state board exams are administered by BONENT or the NNCO. BONENT's Certified Hemodialysis Technologist/Technician Exam has 120 questions with a cost of approximately $210. The NNCO's Certified Clinical Hemodialysis Technician Exam has 150 multiple choice questions with a cost of $245. Prudent students will usually choose to sit for all three exams. Once the exams have been successfully completed, the student will become a certified Dialysis Technician.

Licensing:

For this particular occupation, the terms licensing and certification are synonymous.

Job Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this occupation is expected to grow at a rate of 15% over the next 10 years. This rate in slightly higher than the national average for all occupations.

One of the primary reasons for continued expansion in this job category is the aging of baby boomers who may end up needing dialysis care. Also, new technologies are requiring more trained individuals to operate and maintain the advanced machinery.