Hemodialysis technician, also known as dialysis technician, is a rewarding career for those who wants to provide care for dialysis patients. It comes with a lot of responsibility and work, but with many opportunities as the dialysis field continues to grow. There is constantly a demand for dialysis technicians due to the growing number of dialysis patients.
Steps to Become a Dialysis Technician
There are several ways one can become a dialysis technician.
Step 1 – Complete high school and get a high school diploma.
Step 2 – Decide if becoming a dialysis technician is the right field for you or if it’s the stepping stone to entering the world of patient care. For example, if your dream is to become a dialysis nurse and you have reasons that you are unable to go to nursing school at this time, then you can become a dialysis technician and obtain the experience of dialysis care prior to becoming a dialysis nurse. There are an abundance of dialysis nurses who started out as a dialysis technician.
Step 3 (2 options)
a. Get hired by a dialysis company, such as Fresenius or DaVita, and obtain dialysis training. It is possible to get hired without any previous dialysis experience or patient care experience. Dialysis training would be provided by the company. After six months of dialysis training, the trainee would take an exam. After successfully passing the exam, the trainee would be able to provide patient care independently and be part of the interdisciplinary team, working alongside with the team leader.
b. If a dialysis company, such as Fresenius or DaVita, does not have an available opening for a candidate, then one can choose to go through a dialysis certification program. A dialysis certificate program generally is two semesters long. A diploma or certificate would be awarded to the student after completing the program. A candidate applying for a dialysis technician job with a dialysis certificate/diploma would most likely be chosen for the position over a candidate without previous dialysis experience or a dialysis certificate.
Step 4 – Dialysis technicians have to become board certified after one year of nephrology patient care. Certification requirements vary from state to state so the dialysis technician must be educated of what is required of them prior to taking the dialysis board exam. The Certified Clinical Hemodialysis Technician (CCHT) certification is provided by the Board of Nephrology Examiners Nursing and Technology (BONENT).
Step 5 – Congratulations! After becoming a dialysis technician and becoming certified, you are officially a certified dialysis technician ready to take on any dialysis patient that comes your way!
What is the job responsibilities of a dialysis technician?
- Set up machines
- Stock the supplies
- Start treatment
- Cannulate the patients
- Monitor the blood pressure, temperature, pulse, and other vital signs
- Inform the team leader of any changes in the patient’s condition
- Inform the team leader of any abnormalities
- Water system management
What is the average salary of a dialysis technician?
The salary can start at $32,000 depending on the state and go up from there. The average salary is $40,000. The average salary of a dialysis technician of 20 years experience is above $60,000.
Is it possible for me to becoming a dialysis technician without any patient care experience?
It is highly recommended to have patient care experience to see if being in the medical field is the right path for you. Many start as nursing assistants and work in a nursing home or medical-surgical field, but many others have become a dialysis technician without any patient care experience. It is essential to be willing to interact with patients and handle difficult situations with therapeutic techniques. One must understand that dialysis patients are extremely sick and can be irritable. A dialysis technician must be able to handle it and respond in a therapeutic manner.
What are the benefits of being a dialysis technician?
Despite the many hours of standing and physical labor, there are many benefits to being a dialysis technician. Many dialysis technicians are ecstatic about not having to give bed baths and report higher job satisfaction. They are less on their feet than nurse assistants. The ratio of dialysis technicians to dialysis patients vary from state to state. In New Jersey, the maximum is 3 patients to 1 dialysis technician. In New York, the maximum is 4 patients to 1 dialysis technician.