In recent years, kidney failure has been on the rise due to the rapid change in eating habits worldwide.
In the US alone, kidney diseases affect about 37 million people.
Fortunately, technology exists to help the kidney perform its functions when the kidney fails.
This is through a process known as dialysis – a life-saving therapy performed by kidney experts.
Without dialysis, patients would only have a few days to live due to accumulated toxicity levels in the body.
One essential kidney expert is a dialysis technician.
Dialysis technicians come in and help physicians to perform this necessary procedure.
- The Roles of a Dialysis Technician Include:
- Should You Become a Dialysis Technician?
- Pros of Being a Dialysis Technician
- Cons of Being a Dialysis Technician
- So… Should You Consider Becoming a Dialysis Technician?
- Pros and Cons of Being a Dialysis Technician Summary Table
The Roles of a Dialysis Technician Include:
- Preparing patients for dialysis procedure
- Monitoring dialysis patients
- Maintenance and repair of equipment
- Preparing and processing the dialyzer (artificial kidney made of thin fibrous material)
- Disinfecting and cleaning of used dialysis equipment
- Taking part in quality enhancement in a kidney facility
Should You Become a Dialysis Technician?
Becoming a dialysis technician is a great career choice and a life-saving job.
It gives a good feeling that comes with saving lives and helping people manage their illnesses.
If you want to be a dialysis technician, there are several requirements you need to consider to jumpstart your career path.
First, to work in a healthcare setting, you don’t have to go to a medical school or be a graduate.
To become a dialysis technician, you only need to finish the certification program.
Once you get a certificate, you can start a new career in a clinic or a hospital setup.
Training can take as little as four months, and in many cases, you don’t have to commit to a full-time schedule.
This allows you to take care of other chores as you equip yourself with this specially needed skill.
Most hospitals and clinics require dialysis technicians to work for 40hrs a week, but part-time work is available too.
You may as well work privately, seeing patients at home during your evenings, off-day, or weekends.
Pros of Being a Dialysis Technician
Below are the benefits of pursuing a career as a dialysis technician.
1. No Prior Experience Is Required
To be a dialysis technician, you don’t necessarily need to have any prior experience.
However, with your certifications and program experience, you can get to work and still do a good job.
2. Calm Working Environment
Whenever you think of working in a hospital or a clinic, what comes into your mind are trauma or emergency room and the stress that comes with it.
When it comes to dialysis technicians, you get to help clients in calm and quiet environments.
It is rare to be involved in an emergency case.
In most cases, you only get to see a patient who comes for their weekly appointments.
3. Good Career Work Anywhere You Want
Even though many people suffer from kidney diseases, the good news is that there are many dialysis technicians worldwide.
Their skills are highly required in hospitals and home settings alike.
A dialysis technician isn’t tied to one city.
You can work anywhere you want as long as you are certified.
In addition, dialysis technicians can advance their careers through education and become renal and hemodialysis specialists.
In this case, you will work on more complex renal procedures.
4. Connect With Tons of People
When it comes to the emergency room, you are bound to see patients once and never see them again only but in rare cases.
But, on the other hand, dialysis technicians can see their patients every week as they perform their noble tasks.
This is why they can form a long-term relationship with them.
Being a dialysis technician can be very fulfilling if you like to connect with the people you help.
5. Advancement Opportunities
As a certified and experienced dialysis technician, you may decide to continue your education.
For example, you may take certain courses such as biomedical equipment technician to expand your scope in the medical field.
6. Decent Pay
A happy team member will always be productive in their duties.
Dialysis technicians’ salary is usually higher than most entry jobs (ranges from $38,000 to $47,000).
Apart from the excellent pay, there are benefit packages that come with it.
When working in the health industry, you receive several benefit packages.
This varies from one institution to the other.
The goal of these benefits is to help maximize the productivity of dialysis technicians.
- Sick and vacation days
- Vision insurance
- Holiday pay and overtime
- 401k plans with employer matching
Cons of Being a Dialysis Technician
Below are the disadvantages of the dialysis technician profession:
1. Find Yourself Working Long Hours
This is a major challenge of this profession.
As a dialysis technician, sometimes you may find yourself working long hours.
Depending on the institution you are working for, you may work in shifts ranging from 10 hours to 12 hours.
These long shifts make you leave your home very early in the morning or work till late at night.
Such a schedule may pose a challenge, especially if you are a family man or woman.
The work is so involved and may require you to stand or walk for extended periods, especially during busy shifts.
2. Exposure to Pathogens
When you work as a dialysis technician, you must access the patient systems to do dialysis.
In this case, you may be exposed to body fluids, and this may place you at risk for secondary infections from the patient.
Some are contagious, and exposure to them may be fatal.
3. Have to Be On-call
If you are working in an acute dialysis center, you must have to be on call at any time.
This will include working on weekends, holidays, and even your off days.
Whenever you are on call, always keep in mind that you are working for more hours than you are supposed to.
Even if the overtime pay is good, your body will suffer the effects of a long day’s work.
4. Experience Burnout
Sometimes, patients receiving dialysis may be extremely ill, requiring you to perform the procedure several times.
Working like that may expose you to burnout.
Unfortunately, some of them may not make it and pass away.
This might cause emotional harm, especially if you had connected with the patient.
In some situations, you may have to go for counseling to overcome the effects of losing a patient.
5. Career Expenses
No matter how passionate you are about the career, attending school is always an impediment to many due to financial restrictions.
Although it’s not quite an expensive course to pursue, you’ll have to make good financial arrangements to enable you through.
Career growth in the dialysis niche will also require you to enroll in more classes.
For instance, if you want to become a dialysis nurse, you’ll have to take a nursing degree.
This calls for more funds.
However, there are financial remedies you can use to overcome this challenge.
6. Legal Responsibility
As a dialysis technician, you are responsible for the care you are providing to your patients.
You are also responsible for the duties that the doctor delegates.
These responsibilities have some legal implications if something happens under your care.
It is, therefore, your duty to know your scope of work and the rights that you and your patients enjoy.
7. Ethical Dilemma
As expected, ethical dilemmas may arise in the healthcare setting from time to time.
In such scenarios, it is good to weigh the benefits and risks that come along with each decision you make.
Some dilemmas may put you in emotional distress.
For example, you may or may not agree with some decisions that people above you make, but you may be forced to fulfill their wishes regarding patient care.
When you’re facing an ethical dilemma, it will be up to you to decide the path you want to take.
Being decisive and consultative can help you overcome most of the dilemmas that come with the job.
So… Should You Consider Becoming a Dialysis Technician?
The demand for dialysis technicians is expected to increase by 11 % by the end of this decade.
The compensation for these professionals is also in the upward trajectory.
Therefore, it’s a good career to consider.
Once you’re fully skilled and secure employment, you’ll be able to attract a decent salary and a list of patients praising you for conducting their life-saving procedures.
Don’t hesitate if you feel that helping people manage their medical issues fulfills you.
Go for it!
Pros and Cons of Being a Dialysis Technician Summary Table
|Pros of Being a Dialysis Technician||Cons of Being a Dialysis Technician|
|No Prior Experience Is Required||Find Yourself Working Long Hours|
|Calm Working Environment||Exposure to Pathogens|
|Good Career Work Anywhere You Want||Have to Be On-call|
|Connect With Tons of People||Experience Burnout|
|Advancement Opportunities||Career Expenses|
|Decent Pay||Legal Responsibility|