If you want to make a difference in the lives of patients suffering from kidney failure then one career to consider is that of being a dialysis technician. In this role, you will have the chance to maintain and operate dialysis equipment that is so crucial to extending the lives of those with renal failure. You will be preparing patients before their procedure, administering local anesthesia and monitoring them as they undergo dialysis.
To succeed in this career, you will need technical skills in the operation of dialysis equipment. Since you will be dealing with sick patients, it’s also equally important that you are compassionate and patient. In addition, you also need to be physically fit as the work involves moving patients and standing for hours at a time.
Why Become A Dialysis Technician
One of the reasons to become a dialysis technician is to provide service to those who are sick. You will have the chance to help extend the lives of those with kidney failure and of course, enable them to lead normal and happy lives in spite of their condition. Since you will be with the patient throughout the procedure, you will become one of the patient’s confidantes. The sense of fulfillment this gives propels some to work as dialysis technicians.
Dialysis Technician Work Environment
Hospitals and clinics are the typical work environments for dialysis technicians. However, they can also be asked to work in the homes of patients who have their own dialysis machines. They generally work fulltime under the supervision of a registered nurse or doctor. They can sometimes work on weekends and evenings.
Although the US Bureau of Labor Statistics does not specifically provide the official salaries for dialysis technicians, their May 2013 Occupational Employment and Wages report revealed that the mean annual wage of all other health technologists and technicians was $44,960.
Dialysis Technician Career Outlook
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics does not provide the projected employment rates for dialysis technicians. However, more and more people are now suffering from renal failure, with over 580,000 patients receiving chronic dialysis or undergone a kidney transplant in recent years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While this is nothing to be happy about, it does provide a glimpse to the work opportunities in store for dialysis technicians.
Dialysis Technician Degree
A high school diploma or its equivalent is necessary to become a dialysis technician. In addition, one must undergo training to operate dialysis equipment. The training, which can be obtained from vocational and technical schools as well as community colleges, can be completed anywhere from 12 to 18 months. In addition, they are also trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
The requirements for certification vary from state to state. One certification that dialysis technicians can get is the Certification for Clinical Hemodialysis Technician (CCHT) which is given by the Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission. To obtain certification, students must have six months experience with nephrology technology, pass the exam, finish at least 30 hours of relevant continuing education and professional activity and work a minimum of 3,000 hours as a dialysis technician.