Dialysis is a medical procedure for people who have kidney failure. This procedure removes waste and excess fluids from the body for people who have kidney function disorders. Dialysis technicians operate dialysis machines and monitor patients while they are having the procedure done. Dialysis technicians need to have a high school diploma and it’s a good idea to get an associates degree to get started in this career.
Why Become A Dialysis Technician
Dialysis is a necessary medical procedure for those who have kidney failure. It is a procedure that keeps those with kidney failure living. During this procedure, excess fluids are removed from the body and toxins and wastes are removed from the blood.
Dialysis technicians are the medical personnel who administer this procedure. They maintain and operate the equipment used in dialysis. Dialysis is usually administered at a hospital or a clinic. The dialysis technician remains present while operating medical equipment. They prep the patients for the procedure, give anesthesia, and monitor the patients during their time receiving dialysis. They log data and write up reports, which are given to doctors for analysis.
This is a good job for somebody who enjoys healthcare, wants to work directly with patients, and is interested in using equipment and the technical aspects of healthcare.
Dialysis Technicians should possess the following qualities and skills:
Dialysis Technician Work Environment
Most dialysis technicians work in hospitals. Those who don’t work in hospitals may work in medical laboratories, doctor offices, or outpatient care centers. They set up dialysis equipment and make sure it is in proper working order.
They work directly with patients. The patients they work with are quite ill, suffering from kidney failure, and must come in for dialysis to receive regular treatments. The dialysis technicians set the patients up to the machines. They are on their feet for long periods of time.
They may need to collect samples, or to lift disabled patients. A dialysis technician wear protective gear for their own safety. This is typically a full time job. Those who work in hospitals may work evening, weekend or overnight hours.
Dialysis Technician Salary
The median salary for dialysis technicians was $52,000 annually, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. There are many factors that go into deciding the salary for any given job. For dialysis technicians, the industry where they work can be a variable in their salary.
For example, those who worked in hospitals earned a median salary of $55,000 in 2017. On the other hand, those who worked in doctor offices or outpatient care centers earned $46,000 in 2017.
This is something to keep in mind when thinking about what atmosphere you would like to work in. Those with additional education and experience should be able to earn additional income.
Dialysis Technician Career Outlook
Employment for dialysis technicians is projected to grow 14 percent from 2016 to 2026. This is a faster rate of growth than most jobs in the United States. Overall this will lead to 23,000 new jobs in this industry.
With a growing elderly population, there are many people who are suffering from illness and injury. Many people are experiencing loss of kidney function, especially as they age. Loss of kidney function may also be due to some sort of illness. Dialysis is a machine technique of removing toxins from the body when a person’s kidneys do not properly function. Dialysis technicians will continue to be needed to control the machines and perform dialysis on these high need patients.
Dialysis Technician Degree
In order to become a dialysis technician, you will need to earn a certificate in this field. The only prerequisite to enter into such a program is having a high school diploma. There are many places that offer dialysis technician certification programs, including community colleges, technical schools, and online programs.
A program as a dialysis technician can be completed in either one or two semesters. This makes it very easy for people who want to start a new career quickly. It is also possible to take classes part-time, night or day classes, or online classes. This makes it a flexible program choice for non-traditional students.
Dialysis Technician Coursework
Anatomy and Physiology: In this course students learn all about human body structure and function. Topics include cell structure and functions of all major systems of the human body. The connections and relationships among these systems are studied. Laboratory work is also part of the class. In this program, a special emphasis will be placed on the kidneys, urinary and endocrine systems.
Components of Dialysis: In this course students will learn how to operate dialysis machines. They will learn the basic ways that dialysis functions and why dialysis is necessary. Students will learn the history of dialysis and its mechanism of function. They will learn about blood flow, anticoagulants, flow rates, concentrates, delivery systems, and more.
Medical Terminology: This class is important for anybody working in the healthcare field. Students will learn essential terminology related to the parts of the body, various diseases and ailments, equipment used, and other terms that are frequently used in the medical field.
In this course, students explore the systems of the human body, including the cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, reproductive, nervous systems and more. They learn how they relate to each other. They learn the most common diseases and disorders affecting these systems of the body. The treatments for these diseases and disorders are discussed.
Dialysis Technician Career Path
Dialysis technicians work in a hospital or clinic, operating dialysis equipment and monitoring patients who are receiving dialysis. This is a great entry-level job for those interested in the medical field. This job opens up the door to many other great healthcare professions as well.
Biomedical Equipment Technician
A biomedical equipment technician ensures that medical equipment is well maintained. They typically work in a hospital or in a clinic.
Their responsibilities include overseeing dialysis equipment, inspecting it to make sure that it is operating properly, and taking it in for maintenance on a regular basis. They may also be responsible for other equipment beyond dialysis.
An associate’s degree is necessary, plus experience in the field
This is a great job for people who want to advance in the field and hold more responsibility. It is a good career for somebody who has a natural engineering mind and wants to make sure medical equipment is up to proper standards.
Related Dialysis Technician Careers
Dialysis technicians are just one of many careers inside of the healthcare industry. If you are interested in this career, there are many others you may want to consider. Below we have listed some related careers.
Veterinary Technician: Veterinary technicians work under the supervision of a veterinarian, assisting with injured and ill animals.
Medical Transcriptionist: A medical transcriptionist takes voice recordings and converts them into written reports. These include patient medical histories, prescriptions, discharge summaries, and other documents in the healthcare industry.
Medical Assistant: A medical assistant carries out both administrative and clinical tasks in the offices of physicians and hospitals. They may take blood pressure, weight, height, other vital signs, and check over medical history. They may also be responsible for answering phones, making appointments, and medical billing.