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Dialysis Technician


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Dialysis Technician Job Description

What do dialysis technicians do? Dialysis technicians are trained to perform dialysis on patients who are suffering from kidney disorders and need treatment to remove excess waste from their blood. Their job entails not only operating the dialysis machine, but prepping patients prior to the procedure and then giving patients care after the procedure. During dialysis treatments, dialysis technicians make certain that the dialysis machine is operating properly and the procedure is going smoothly. Dialysis technicians also clean the dialysis machines before and after use.

The majority of dialysis technicians are employed in hospitals and work full time. Their schedule might consist of evening, night, weekend, and holiday hours because hospitals are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Some dialysis technicians work in medical clinics that offer dialysis treatments. Their schedules will likely be regular business hours with the possibility of evenings and weekends depending on the operating hours of the facility. Less frequently, dialysis technicians travel to patients' homes to give them dialysis. Those employed in this area will likely have a schedule based on the needs of their patients.

Dialysis technicians should be in good physical shape, since they spend a lot of their day on their feet and often must lift patients. In addition, those considering a career as a dialysis technician should be aware that they will be coming in contact with various infectious fluids and must always wear protective masks and gloves and properly sterilize machines and equipment for their safety and the safety of patients. It is also important that prospective dialysis technicians possess a caring and compassionate nature since they will be dealing with patients who are ill and undergoing a life long treatment.

Dialysis Technicians Duties

On a daily basis, a dialysis technician might perform the following duties:

  • Discuss the dialysis procedure with patients
  • Operate the dialysis machine
  • Offer support to patients before, during, and after the procedure

Dialysis technicians are also called hemodialysis technicians or nephrology technicians.

How To Become A Dialysis Technician

After receiving a high school diploma or equivalency, individuals wanting to become dialysis technicians must enter an accredited dialysis technician training program at a vocational school or a community or state college. After the completion of a program or training, most states have certification requirements that need to be met.

How Long Does It Take To Become A Dialysis Technician?

It typically takes about 1 year to 1 and a half years to train to become a dialysis technician. That time is spent in an accredited program taking classes and then completing a clinical internship or on the job training.

Education Requirements

Dialysis technician programs are offered at state or community colleges, technical schools, and vocational schools. All dialysis technician programs require that prospective students have either a high school diploma or equivalency. Upon entering a program, students will learn about the kidneys, kidney disease, and they will undergo training in how to use the dialysis machine. In addition to coursework, students will also complete clinical hours. This training will be conducted in a medical facility where students will gain hands on experience working with patients and operating equipment.

Depending on the school, some programs can be completed in as little as two semesters. Some schools offer online programs.

Certification

Certification can be obtained at the state and national level. To receive national certification, dialysis technicians can go through one one of several organizations such as the Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission (NNCC) or the Board of Nephrology Examiners Nursing and Technology (BONENT). National licensing requires that candidates work in the field for a specified amount of time and then pass an exam.

State certification rules vary. For states that require dialysis technicians to obtain a certification, individuals will generally need to complete an accredited program, relevant on the job training, and then pass a state exam. Since each state has different certification guidelines, it is important to check with the state in which one would like to become employed.

Job Outlook

Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not give specific numbers for dialysis technicians, it does report that all medical laboratory technicians will have a projected employment growth of 30 percent between the years of 2012 and 2022. This rate is above average when compared to other occupations.

There are several reasons for the rapid increase in the number of jobs. There are a large number of the population who are aging, and they will need treatments such as dialysis. In addition, a greater amount of people in this country now have access to medical care due to new insurance legislation. Those individuals will seek all types of medical services and this will create a demand for more medical professionals in all laboratory technician fields. Detailed Dialysis Technician salary data is available here.



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