Dialysis technicians, also called hemodialysis technicians or nephrology technicians, work to cleanse the kidneys of impurities for those experiencing acute or chronic renal failure. By operating medical equipment under the supervision of a nurse or other healthcare professional, dialysis technicians safely remove waste products and fluids from the blood and vascular systems of patients. They develop strong relationships with patients, as people waiting to receive kidney transplants must come in to receive dialysis treatment for several hours at a time, up to seven days per week. Because a dialysis technician has frequent contact with patients, he or she must use these interactions to ensure that the patient is comfortable while receiving treatment and also to get a full assessment of the patient's health, which will be reported to his or her physician.
Some routine tasks of dialysis technicians involve taking patients' medical histories, recording blood pressure, and maintaining dialysis equipment, such as the operation, repair, and sterilization of dialysis machines. Dialysis technicians also instruct patients about at-home treatments to prolong the functioning of kidneys until they receive a transplant.
At the very minimum, potential dialysis technicians should earn a high school diploma or its equivalent before they can begin training as a dialysis technician. The completion of a vocational or technical program is not required to work as a dialysis technician, but many community colleges and technical schools offer brief courses to prepare students for work in nephrology. If you plan to work as a dialysis technician, you must become a Certified Clinical Hemodialysis Technician (CCHT).
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