The increase in kidney disease is the driving force for having much demand for well-trained dialysis technicians. As much as it poses a public health problem, hospitals, outpatient clinics, and other medical facilities employ dialysis technicians. Hence, our research on how to become one in 2022.
According to BLS, the number of dialysis technician positions is expected to increase by over 35% in 2030. While most technician training has traditionally taken place ‘on the job,’ today’s healthcare companies are looking for well-trained technicians with the required knowledge and abilities to fill this expanding number of positions.
With this article on how to become a dialysis technician, I hope it helps you fulfill your dream of being a part of the movement for saving lives.
Who is a Dialysis Technician?
This professional is one who works in clinics, hospitals, and other medical facilities under the supervision of nurses and nephrologists, operating and monitoring dialysis machines for patients undergoing operations for kidney dysfunction or kidney failure.
To become a dialysis technician, you must complete at least a certificate program and meet state licensure criteria.
As a dialysis technician, you can also advance your profession by completing your studies to either become acute dialysis, renal, or hemodialysis technician where you would work with patients and dialysis equipment.
What does a Dialysis Technician Do?
Individuals whose kidneys are not working properly have the metabolic wastes built in their blood cleansed and eliminated by machines. The dialysis technician is a medical specialist who monitors this equipment during operations.
Other things this professional does at work include:
- Testing machines prior to administering treatments to ensure they are in order.
- Taking vital signs and monitoring patients before, during, and after dialysis to ensure that treatments are administered safely.
- Calculating patients’ blood flow and the effects of dialysis procedures
- Providing patients with assistance and attention during dialysis operations
- Giving dialysis treatments under the supervision of qualified nurses and doctors.
- Receiving dialysis treatments, educating patients, and offering information on optimal healthcare.
How much does a Dialysis Technician Earn?
You’d be surprised to know that these technicians earn a good living with an average annual pay of $44,333. This is according to Indeed.com.
However, depending on where you reside, the type of medical facility you work in, and the credentials you have, this average earning can differ.
A hemodialysis technician with an associate’s degree will certainly earn more than generic dialysis with a certificate. Your years of experience on the job influence your income.
How Long does it take to Become a Dialysis Technician?
It takes as short as 12 months for a certification program or 2 years for an associate’s degree in becoming a dialysis technician.
You will need to attend continuing education every two to four years to renew your certification. This depends on the criteria of your state.
What Skills Should I Possess as a Student?
You must have a variety of soft skills to go in sync with the technical skills needed to handle intricate medical equipment. The following are most prevalent.
#1: Attention to Detail
Medical positions cause a strong eye for details and the prevention of potentially life-threatening issues.
They make adjustments under their supervisor’s instructions and their recognition of physical changes in the patient.
During treatment, a dialysis technician monitors multiple details including the patient’s well-being and the functions of the dialysis machine. So, you must be mindful of other responsibilities that require your attention, such as writing reports and keeping close tabs with the patient’s family members.
A dialysis technician is a member of a bigger medical team. Hence, the need to work together and in a systematic manner to give out the finest medical treatment to every dialysis patient.
Working with sick people demands a high level of empathy. Being around sick patients daily, you must develop the ability to connect with them, reassure them, and respond to their needs in a loving manner.
To carry out your duties efficiently, you must be an excellent communicator. You will walk patients through the process prior to treatment and must properly explain how it works.
When the hospital changes the patients’ treatment, you must be in touch with them to properly address any of their inquiries.
Communication between dialysis technicians and other medical professionals is also critical for reporting on the patient’s progress and present physical status, both vocally and in written reports.
How to Become a Dialysis Technician
To get started as a dialysis technician, you’ll need a high school diploma or equivalent. The stages below will walk you through your schooling options and how to become a dialysis technician:
#1. Get Your Associate’s Degree or Certificate
You’ll need to enroll in a nephrology and hemodialysis studies educational program to get at least a certificate of completion. Depending on the program, a certificate program for dialysis technicians might take anywhere from 12 to 18 months to finish.
An associate’s degree program that focuses more in-depth on hemodialysis procedures is a more realistic starting point than a certificate program if you wish to pursue higher education in renal nursing hemodialysis or another similar specialty.
#2. Obtain Clinical Experience
You’ll need to get experience working in a clinical setting regardless of the school program you take part in. Internships, entry-level positions, and job shadowing are all good ways to gain experience working with patients and dialysis equipment while also learning about the clinical uses of dialysis.
#3. Get a State-Issued Work Permit
While all states need dialysis technicians to get a license before working, the standards differ from state to state.
The Board of Nephrology Examiners Nursing and Technology (BONENT), which offers the Certified Hemodialysis Technician (CHT) credential, is required in some states for dialysis technicians.
Other states recognize the Certified Clinical Hemodialysis Technician (CCHT) credential, which is awarded to technicians who pass a certification exam administered by the Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission (NNCC).
#4. Continue Your Education to Develop your Job
Dialysis technicians with several years of experience and extra education have the opportunity to grow their profession.
Many people who find themselves in this field progress to leadership positions in large clinics, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities’ kidney centers.
Dialysis technicians with an associate’s degree can typically get a bachelor’s degree in nursing and further their careers in renal and hemodialysis nursing.
#5. Consider Becoming a Member of a Professional Group
Dialysis technicians and medical professionals can join a variety of networks and professional groups.
The National Association of Nephrology Technicians and Technologists (NANT), is a professional association that helps members improve their skills, expertise, and knowledge of hemodialysis and its applications.
Similarly, the American Nephrology Nurses’ Association is a professional association for dialysis nurses that offers chances for continuing education and training, job advancement, networking, and grant opportunities.
Is Becoming a Dialysis Technician Worth It?
There isn’t something as wise as becoming a dialysis technician as it is a great choice of career path.
According to BLS, the field is expected to grow by 17% over the next 10 years making them highly sought after.
If you want to work in the medical field without attending medical school, becoming a dialysis technician could be the start of a fulfilling career.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is a dialysis technician?
A dialysis technician is one who works in clinics, hospitals, and other medical facilities under the supervision of nurses and nephrologists, operating and monitoring dialysis machines for patients undergoing operations for kidney dysfunction or kidney failure.
How much a dialysis technician earn?
According to Indeed.com, a dialysis technician makes an annual earning of about $44,333
What skills do I need to possess to become a dialysis technician?
the skills required to become a dialysis technician include:
- Attention to detail
So, this is all there is to becoming a dialysis technician. There are several other certifications to gain but going through this article will help you navigate this career path easily. I hope you make the best of it.
- Indeed.com – Dialysis Technician
- Careerstep.com – How to become a dialysis technician
- Glassdoor.com – Dialysis technician salary