Supervised by a nurse or physician, dialysis technicians provide service to individuals with kidney disorders. They run a dialysis machine, which acts as an artificial kidney and cleanses the patient's blood of waste products. Before treatment, the dialysis technician weighs the patient and takes vital signs and blood samples to adjust the dosage of anti-clotting medication. The technician inserts a needle (attached to tubes) into the patient's artery, starts the machine, and monitors the treatment. After treatment, the technician checks the patient's vital signs and sterilizes the equipment.
Certification is provided through the Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission (NNCC) testing program to become a Certified Clinical Hemodialysis Technician (CCHT).
Dialysis Technician Training program includes 54 hours of classroom time with laboratory practice at the school. Day or evening classes may be available. Most classes are 8 weeks long; however, some programs may be 10 weeks in length.
The primary vocational education objective is to impart knowledge resulting in measurable and demonstrable skill performance by the student and to achieve this by presenting the Dialysis Technician course as effectively and efficiently as possible within a logical designated time frame.
Overall vocational objectives for the Dialysis Technician Training Program are designed to meet the level of comprehension that will allow the student to achieve employment status as a Dialysis/Hemodialysis Technician specialist. This program is meant to provide a strong foundation and preparation for continued academic pursuit and attainment.
Individual program objectives are designed to provide the proficiency levels in theory and performance that meet the standards for employment of those beginning or continuing their careers in the health care field in a specialized field of renal care and dialysis. As a Dialysis Technician the student will be able to find employment in:
Outpatient Medical clinics
The demand for Dialysis Technicians continues to grow and is expected to grow at a steady pace over the next several years. This high demand is on the increase due to an aging population resulting in an increase in kidney disease. While historically, this position was trained on the job, today's employers are seeking well trained individuals that possess knowledge in the field of dialysis. Rules and Regulations from Medicare and Medicaid have put into effect as of 2010 that anyone working in dialysis must have a formal training program and Certification as a Dialysis Technician.
To be accepted for enrollment, and applicant must be at least 18 years old at the time of enrollment and must be in good health to attend all classes. Handicapped students may be accepted for enrollment providing the disability does not jeopardize their safety or their employability. The student should be free from medical restrictions related to lifting, bending, pushing, or carrying objects. Reading, writing, and speaking English is mandatory.
The entering student is required to have one year of experience as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Medical Assistant, or Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). Having taken a Phlebotomy course is helpful but not mandatory.