Dialysis technicians are healthcare professionals who assist patients undergoing dialysis, a process to remove waste from the blood. Most of these technicians work in hospitals or clinics that provide this service. If you’re interested in becoming a dialysis technician, here’s what you need to know about the profession and how to pursue it:
What Is a Dialysis Technician?
Dialysis technicians are medical professionals who assist with dialysis treatments for patients with kidney failure. Their responsibilities include preparing and maintaining the dialysis machines, keeping records of the patient’s treatment, and monitoring blood pressure and other vital signs during treatment.
What does a dialysis technician do?
- Prepares equipment for use by following the manufacturer’s instructions or established protocols; ensuring that all necessary supplies are available
- Monitors patient’s condition during hemodialysis by recording vital signs such as heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, etc., as well as levels of potassium in the bloodstream
- Keep records of the patient’s treatment and perform other duties as requested by their supervisors
- Perform administrative duties such as filing patient records, tracking treatment progress, and following up with patients who miss their appointments.
Requirements to Be a Dialysis Technician
In order to become a dialysis technician, you’ll need the following qualifications:
- A high school diploma or equivalent.
- Must be at least 18 years old.
- Must be able to lift and move patients safely.
- Must have good communication skills and be able to communicate effectively with patients and their families.
In addition, you must have excellent teamwork skills in order to work well within a team environment. Also, for the above qualifications, you’ll need to complete an accredited training program and pass a certification exam.
Dialysis Technician Training
If you want to become a dialysis technician, there are two main ways of doing so: by taking online training or through an on-the-job training program.
Online courses can be done in as little as three months and are often paid for by the employer who hires you. They’re short because they don’t have to teach everything about dialysis; they just need to give you enough knowledge so that you can work safely and effectively as a technician. The online training programs are good for people who don’t have the time to attend a traditional classroom setting. Online training is often less expensive than classroom training, but it also tends to be shorter in duration.
On-the-job training programs usually last one year and involve hands-on experience working with patients during their treatments. You’ll learn more about patients’ conditions, how the machines work, and more importantly how people react during their sessions—which is important if they’re nervous or scared because of something like needle phobia (a fear of needles).
Dialysis Technician Certification
Dialysis technicians are required to be certified in order to practice their trade. Certification is a voluntary process, but it’s a good idea for you to get certified because it will give you an edge in the job market and help increase your salary potential. The organization that offers certification is the American Society of Nephrology (ASN). There are two parts to certification: an exam and a clinical practice test. The ASN offers two types of certifications: Dialysis Technician-Basic and Dialysis Technician-Advanced. To become certified, you must have at least one year of experience in dialysis treatment. The exam is administered by the ASN and consists of 190 multiple-choice questions that cover areas such as anatomy, physiology, chemistry, and laboratory tests.
Dialysis Technician Salary and Job Opportunities
Dialysis technicians can earn an average of $35,000 a year. The job outlook for dialysis technicians is expected to grow at a rate of 24 percent between 2016 and 2026, which is faster than the average for all occupations.
In some areas, there are more opportunities for dialysis technicians than in others. The number of dialysis technician jobs varies throughout the country depending on population density and the number of available patients needing treatment.
Dialysis technicians can find jobs in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities. They may also work for home healthcare agencies that provide services to patients with chronic illnesses.
What Does a Dialysis Technician Do?
As a dialysis technician, you’ll be working with patients who have kidney failure. This means that your job is to ensure that they get the treatment they need. You and your team will help them with their dialysis treatments, which are procedures that use machines to remove excess fluid from the body so it can be filtered through the kidneys.
As a dialysis technician, you’ll need to know how to work with all types of equipment and machines in order to deliver high-quality care for your patients. Your salary will depend on how much experience you have as well as where you work—the national average for this job is $48k per year (according to PayScale).
The job of a dialysis technician is rewarding and challenging, but it’s also important to remember that this is not an easy career path. You will need to make many sacrifices along the way and have a strong desire to help others if you want to succeed in this field.