What Does A Dialysis Technician Do?
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.
A dialysis technician helps patients undergoing hemodialysis, a procedure that removes blood wastes and fluids from the body when the kidneys fail. Together with registered nurses and licensed practical nurses, dialysis technicians operate hemodialysis machines and watch over patients while they are undergoing the procedure.
One of the first things that dialysis technicians do is to set up and operate the hemodialysis machine. Setting up the equipment entails attaching the dialyzer and tubing to the machine in order to get it ready for use. Following the formula, they also mix the dialysate and then prepare the machine by priming the dialyzer with saline solution.
A good reason 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 technicians also bring the patient to the dialysis room and assists in positioning the patient comfortably on the chair near the hemodialysis machine. Before administering the procedure, technicians obtain the patient’s vital signs. These include his blood pressure, weight, temperature, pulse rate and respiration rate.
Before commencing with the treatment, dialysis technicians explain the procedure to the patients, especially to those who are undergoing it for the first-time. This is important to calm their fears and worries. They would then sanitize the access point and connects the hemodialysis machine to the access point of the patient so the procedure can begin. Before starting the blood flow pump, dialysis technicians check the settings to ensure that everything is in order. This final check is also done to make certain that important readings for pressure, temperature and conductivity are in accordance with established safety standards.
While the procedure is going on, dialysis technicians check the venous and arterial pressures to see that these are within the set limits. All throughout the procedure, they monitor the patient for allergic reactions and constantly check the machine to see that it is functioning as it should. In the event of a malfunction, they are trained to promptly address the issue. This makes it vital for dialysis technicians to extensively know the machine used in the treatment facility. If the patient experiences a hypotensive episode, clotting issues or needle displacement, the dialysis technicians are trained to handle such situations. They are also trained to provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR in case the patient suffers cardiac arrest in the middle of the procedure.
After the procedure, dialysis technicians again get the vital signs of the patient. These include his weight, blood pressure, pulse and respiration rates and temperature. They are also responsible for discarding the used dialysis supplies and sanitizing the equipment following the protocol set forth by the manufacturer of the unit.
Also with doing the technical aspect of the job, dialysis technicians are an integral part of the patient’s healthcare team. They discuss the patient’s psychosocial, medical and nutritional concerns with the registered nurse and other members of the team. They are also expected to abide by patient confidentiality policies when providing care.
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.
Career Spotlight: Dialysis Technician
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 ope[...]