Years of School
Dialysis technicians perform a number of roles related to dialysis treatment, from monitoring and maintaining dialysis equipment to acting as primary care giver for patients who are undergoing dialysis treatment.
Dialysis Technician Salary
A dialysis technician, who can also be referred to as a hemodialysis technician, a renal dialysis technician, or nephrology technician, can expect to earn between $25,000 and $40,000 per year. Less experienced dialysis techs can expect to earn a salary in the $25,000 to $30,000 range while senior technicians can expect to earn around $40,000 per annum. The median salary for this field is just over $33,000.
However, there are some additional factors that might raise or lower a salary, such as being in rural or urban areas. For instance, the dialysis tech salary median in Massachusetts is in the mid-$30,000 range, but in Alabama, the median dialysis tech salary is in the mid-$20,000 range. This is primarily due to the adjusted cost of living.
Dialysis Technician Job Description
Dialysis techs are responsible for operating and maintain the equipment associated with the dialysis treatment. They will function in multiple roles, from equipment repair and maintenance, to water treatment monitoring, to dialyzer reprocessing, vascular access monitoring as well as direct patient care. Dialysis techs will need to assist their patients with any physical or mental concerns they may have before, during or after the procedure.
Dialysis Technician Duties
- Patient Blood Sterilization
- Taking blood pressure
- Checking patient’s weight
- Inspect and maintain hemodialysis machine before, during and after the procedures
- Fluid removal rate calculations and adjustments
- Create patient records before, during and after each procedure
- Inform nurse or physician of changes in patient condition
- Ready to perform certain medical emergency procedures instantaneously, such as CPR during an event, such as a patient going into cardiac arrest
- Blood flow rate measurements and adjustments
Alternative Jobs Titles:
- Renal Dialysis Technician
- Hemodialysis Technician
How To Become A Dialysis Technician
In order to become a dialysis tech, one will need to earn a degree in this program from a community college. It is noted that the program only lasts two semesters, so the student can complete the program within a year.
Education & Training Requirements
In regards to the required education and training for this career, students will need to complete a state approved program from a community college, technical school, or hospital that offers dialysis technician training. As previously mentioned, these courses can be completed in less than a year.
Upon graduation, students will need to become certified by the Board of Nephrology Examiners Nursing and Technology, which is otherwise known as BONENT. This body certifies that the graduate has not only completed their course work, but that they also know how to apply the concepts to real-world practices. In order to take the BONENT exam, one must pay a $210 fee for the paper version or $240 for the electronic version. Both tests will feature 150 questions. In order to maintain the certification, a dialysis tech must pay an annual fee or $55.
During the early part of 2008, the Medicare and Medicaid services passed a new law that requires all workers in this field to either be certified by the state in which they work or at a national level. The National Nephrology Certification Organization (NNCO) certification will meet the certification requirements for both levels. This exam consists of 200 multiple choice questions, and the cost to take the exam is $245.
Core Curriculum For The Dialysis Technician
For those who are interested in the dialysis tech degree program, here are a few example courses that students will take.
- Overview of dialysis environment
- Patients with kidney failure
- Dialysis principles
- Medical devices of the field
- Vascular Access
- Procedures and complications associated with hemodialysis
Certification & Licensing
To become a certified hemodialysis technician, a person must complete the required program at a local community college. Once they have done so, they will be eligible to take the exam to earn a hemodialysis technician certification, which is issued through BONENT.
To work in this field, one must be certified at both the state and national level. The two certifying bodies are BONENT and NNCO. The BONENT exam consists of 120 multiple choice questions, and it costs $210. However, the BONENET exam only certifies techs at the state level.
To be certified at both the state and national level, one will need to take the NNCO exam. This exam consists of 200 multiple choice questions, and it costs $245. Both of the exams have three hour time limits.
Dialysis Tech Job Outlook
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