What are the requirements for dialysis technician training, and what is dialysis? Dialysis tech training give students the skills needed to assist patients with kidney disorders while gaining practical experience with current dialysis equipment. Dialysis is a medical process where a patient’s blood is cleansed of toxins the kidneys normally would ordinarily flush out. It is used when a person’s kidneys no longer function properly due to congenital kidney disease, long-term diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. or other conditions. A dialysis technician is responsible for removing waste material from the blood of kidney patients. It is their duty to prepare patients for therapy and monitor kidney problem who are unable to remove the impurities from their blood by the usual manner, through their kidneys and bladder. It is only by the use of dialysis that they are able to stay alive.
Dialysis Technician Training and Education
Knowledge of this procedure is provided with Dialysis Technician Training. Dialysis tech training is tied to operating, monitoring and disinfecting dialysis equipment. Training programs for this position is available in community colleges, vocational schools and hospitals with the entrance requirements being a GED or high school diploma.
During the training, things such as venipuncture, vital signs monitoring, administering local anesthesia, preparing patients and signs of problems are all studied. Dialysis tech courses generally cover kidney anatomy and physiology, blood chemistry, complications of renal failure and fundamentals of kidney transplant procedures. Additional dialysis technician courses may cover:
- Medical Terminology
- Kidney Failure Causes
- Hemodialysis Devices
- Hemodialysis Procedures
- Hemodialysis Complications
- Water Treatment
- Infection control
- Clinical Rotations (Practicum)
The time for this training is divided between laboratories, clinics and classrooms. The time required for this training can vary from 6 weeks to a year, depending on the amount of training and time required. Some people learn very rapidly, others need to take more time to absorb all the ins and outs of the position. It is a good idea to compare the offerings of several institutions before entering this kind of program.
Every state requires certification and licensing for this position. In addition, continuing education is required with a license renewed every 2 to 4 years. Every state has training and testing programs with each technician required to be certified by the Board of Nephrology Examination For Nurses and Technicians prior to receiving a license.
Dialysis Technician Careers
The official name for people with this certification and license is Certified Hemodialysis Technician (CHT) or certified Nephrology Technicians (CNT). They are employed in hospitals, clinics, outpatient clinics, private homes and other places where their services are required and must monitor the patient before, during and after the procedure. They must also test the patient’s blood, after the procedure, to make sure all wastes have been removed.
A person in the position of dialysis technician specializes in operating and maintaining machines which do the job of the patient’s kidneys. He or she must have complete knowledge as to how this machine works in regards to the human body. They must keep the machine clean and sterilized at all times.
Other jobs performed might be recording patient’s information and testing vital signs and blood before, during and after the dialysis procedure. Other duties might also be assigned under the supervision of nurses and doctors. Advancement in the field is possible, to such positions as hemodialysis, renal and acute dialysis.
Estimated Income and Projected Career Outlook
There are a number of different reports regarding salary. One web site reports the median annual wage for a Dialysis Technician is around $30,000. The Bureau of Labor Statistics gives a range of $27,909 to $34,201 as a middle range.
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics also reports that there will be a 21% increase in health care occupations by 2020. This can be attributed to an aging population and eating habits, in all walks of life, that are detrimental to kidney functions. At the current time this is one section of the employment market where there is a demand for employees, and dialysis technician training is important in preparing health care professions to fill these positions.