A dialysis technician is an allied health care professional that is certified to operate a hemodialysis machine. Dialysis is the process of artificially filtering the waste and excess water from the blood when the kidney is unable to do it. Dialysis is usually necessary when a patient suffers from kidney damage or kidney (renal) failure. Dialysis technician schools are designed to prepare students to work comfortably with dialysis equipment and patients in a professional health care environment.
Dialysis Technician Course
Dialysis technician course duration varies based on the specific training program. Many dialysis technician schools offer associate’s and bachelor’s degree programs, but short term certificate programs are also available. Certificate programs are geared more towards existing health care employees that have already completed some courses in the allied health care area. A dialysis technician course helps students develop the knowledge and skills necessary to operated dialysis equipment as well as provide direct care to dialysis patients.
Dialysis Technician Job Description
The basic role of a dialysis technician is to operate and maintain dialysis equipment. However, a dialysis technician job description may detail more specific job duties. However, the dialysis technician is often required to work closely with each dialysis patient. Some common responsibilities of a dialysis technician may include:
- Transport patient to facility and position patient on lounge chair at the hemodialysis machine.
- Take and record patient information before dialysis, including weight, temperature, blood pressure, pulse rate, and respiration rate.
- Explain dialysis process and operation of dialysis machine to patient before treatment to reduce stress or anxiety.
- Attach dialysis machine to access point in patient’s forearm or catheter site to start blood circulating through dialyzer.
- Monitor any adverse actions by the dialysis patient.
- Take and records patient details after dialysis, including weight, temperature, blood pressure, pulse rate, and respiration rate.
Dialysis Technician Salary
The dialysis technician occupation falls under the general category of health technologists and technicians. According to O*Net OnLine, a larger partner of the America Job Center Network, the health technician occupations earn a median annual salary of $38,080, about $18/hour. Salary is usually commensurate with experience and education. Some dialysis technicians can earn as much as $54,000 and more advanced and administrative positions can earn up to $100,000 annually.