How to Become a Dialysis Technician
Dialysis Technicians are trained to operate dialysis machine, which effectively cleans the blood of patient s suffering from kidney disorders. They ensure that the dialysis machine is operating properly and the procedure is going smoothly. Their key responsibilities include monitoring and inspecting hemodialysis machine before, during and after the procedures. Additionally, they review patient charts before giving the necessary anesthesia and insert the dialysis machine’s needle into the patient. They also perform other clinical duties assigned in the setting.
Dialysis Technicians work at different environments such as dialysis centers, public hospitals, private clinics, outpatient centers, long-term care facilities etc. These professionals work under the supervision of registered nurses or physicians. Their working schedule may consist of evening, night, weekend, and holiday along with normal hours.
To become a Dialysis Technician, the aspiring candidates need to earn an associate degree in the field of dialysis as well as additional training in the operation of dialysis equipment. These programs usually take two years to complete. Common course work includes basic hemodialysis principles and procedures, patient care medical terminology, anatomy and diagnostic procedures. Students can also receive clinical training through internships and job-training programs.
Certification and Licensure
Since a Dialysis Technician must be licensed in all the states, the aspiring candidates have to pass the licensing examination. However, Certification requirements for this profession vary from state to state. Some state requires Hemodialysis Technician Certification (CHT) through the Board of Nephrology Examiners Nursing and Technology (BONENT) while others prefer certification in Biomedical Nephrology Technology (CBNT) or Clinical Nephrology Technology (CCNT) obtained from the National Nephrology Certification Organization (NNCO).
Apart from clinical and technical knowledge, Dialysis Technicians possess wide range of skills, such as strong dexterity, high level of attention to detail, empathy and compassion, ability to remain calm under pressure, effective communication and interpersonal skills, competent in computer operations, ability to operate complex equipment, a good deal of physical fitness to work for long duration in standing position etc.
Job Outlook and Salary
The job outlook for a Dialysis Technician remains excellent across the USA. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the growth rate for job opportunities in this profession may rise 26% during 2012-2022. The average annual salary of a Dialysis Technician was $31,803in May 2013.