Dialysis Technician: Job Duties, Career Outlook, and Educational Requirements
Research what it takes to become a dialysis technician. Learn about training requirements, job outlook and salary to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Dialysis Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
Career Information At a Glance
As a dialysis technician, you'd operate the dialysis equipment that cleans the blood of patients whose kidneys aren't working properly. To perform this duty, you'll need formal training. A summary of important career details is in the table below.
|Training Required||Dialysis technician training program|
|Key Skills||Attention to detail, patience, physical stamina, mechanical ability|
|Certification||Some states and/or employers require certification|
|Job Growth (2012-2022)||30% (for all medical and clinical laboratory technicians)*|
|Median Annual Salary (2014)||$31,803**|
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com
What Are the Job Duties for Dialysis Technicians?
Dialysis technicians, also called nephrology technicians or hemodialysis technicians, operate the machines that perform the actions of normal functioning kidneys, according to the National Kidney Foundation (www.kidney.org). Dialysis is usually needed by patients when their kidneys are working at 10%-15% of normal function. As a dialysis technician, you'll be supervised by physicians and take care of dialysis patients before, during and after dialysis.
You might monitor patients' vitals, test blood for waste or chemicals and run the hemodialysis machine. While positions are available with hospitals, clinics and outpatient facilities, you also might work in the private residences of patients who have dialysis at home.
What Can I Expect from this Career?
Dialysis technician job opportunities are expected to grow as the population ages and more people require dialysis. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted a 30% increase in medical and clinical laboratory technician occupations between 2012 and 2022 (www.bls.gov). PayScale.com reported that the median annual salary for dialysis technicians was $31,803 as of September 2014.
What Will I Need to Study?
According to the Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission (NNCC), you must have a high school diploma or the equivalent to be eligible for the Certified Clinical Hemodialysis Technician (CCHT) certification exam (www.nncc-exam.org). Along with the high school diploma, you must have at least some classroom and clinical training.
Many community colleges offer 1-year training programs for dialysis technicians. These programs range from six weeks in length up to 12 months and include both coursework and supervised clinical experience. You can seek out these programs through community colleges, vocational schools and hospitals. You can also get training on the job. You'll study hemodialysis, renal failure and the primary principles of dialysis.
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