Dialysis technicians set up and operate hemodialysis units and related equipment in order to provide treatment to patients. Replacing some of the functions the kidneys usually carry out for themselves, kidney dialysis equipment can make the difference between life and death for a patient suffering from a kidney disorder or failure. By attending a dialysis technician school, you can learn the skills needed to operate the complex equipment used in dialysis. If you would like to obtain the certification required to enter this in-demand field, read more about dialysis technician training today.
Prerequisites for Dialysis Technician Certification
Dialysis training typically culminates in a certificate and is offered at community colleges, vocational schools, and technical schools. In order to qualify for admission to a dialysis technician certification program, you typically have to be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma or GED, and have a solid foundation in basic math. Some recommended prerequisite courses include medical terminology, biology, and CPR training.
A number of programs also require applicants to have at least one year of experience in the medical field as a medical assistant, nursing assistant or EMT. Many of these programs offer online courses, enabling students to complete most of their coursework in their free time and from the comfort of their own homes.
Dialysis Technician Course Curriculum
Dialysis Tech Courses
The curriculum of dialysis technician programs usually takes around six months to complete. Dialysis technician courses may cover the following topics:
- Anatomy & physiology
- Nursing principles for dialysis technicians
- Renal theory
- Fluid and electrolyte balance
- Infectious diseases
- Blood chemistries
- Patient care & assessment
- Renal dialysis technology
- Specimen collection & handling
- Complications of renal failure
- Dialysis systems & equipment
State & National Certification
After finishing a dialysis technician program, passing a national certification exam, and earning a state certification, graduates will be prepared to work under the supervision of other medical professionals, such as physicians and registered nurses. Each state has unique requirements regarding certification for dialysis technicians.
Job Opportunities for Dialysis Technicians
Dialysis technicians are responsible for maintaining and operating dialysis equipment, which cleanses the blood of metabolic waste products. Other duties of a dialysis technician may include prepping patients, giving local anesthesia, monitoring patients’ progress, and providing written reports to doctors.
Dialysis technicians primarily work in hospitals and clinics, but they sometimes work in patients’ private homes or nursing homes. Other settings in which dialysis technicians are employed include nephrologist offices and cruise ships. They usually work 40 hours a week.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not track the wages and employment outlook of dialysis technicians separately, but dialysis technicians are considered health technologists. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage of health technologists was $40,700 in 2012. Data from Salary.com, reports the salarly of dialysis techs at $35,644, which is slightly lower than the BLS. Owing to the growth of the aging population and the demand for dialysis treatment, there continues to be a strong need for dialysis technicians.
Starting Your Dialysis Technician Training
Ensuring that patients receive effective dialysis treatment, dialysis technicians are vital members of healthcare teams that may include doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dieticians. Learn how to provide quality care for patients and prepare for employment as a dialysis technician by exploring dialysis technician schools today.