Dialysis Technician (Tech)

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Common Dialysis Technician Career Questions

Duties and Responsibilities

What are the responsibilities of a dialysis technician? Renal dialysis technicians conduct dialysis treatment to help patients with renal disease or kidney failure. Basically they use dialysis equipment to purify the patient’s blood, which replaces the functions that the kidney normally performs. The following are some of their daily tasks and duties:

  • Medical equipment assembly
  • Test and maintain dialysis equipment
  • Administer local anesthesia
  • Sterilize blood
  • Take weight and blood pressure of patients
  • Administer medication
  • Monitor patients
  • Calculate fluid removal and blood flow rates
  • Communicate with doctors and nurses
  • Keep patient records

The dialysis technicians job is a very hands-on one, allowing technicians to spend time with their patients. That makes this technician a critical component of the patient’s care team, which also includes nurses and doctors. The technician needs to inform the registered nurse about the physical or emotional concerns of the patient and get advice. Being willing to educate the patient on maintenance and care, being committed to patient confidentiality and having a positive bedside manner are all necessary. The technician needs to have the necessary knowledge for guiding the patient throughout the entire dialysis process.

How to become a Dialysis Tech?

For those who are interested in training for a dialysis tech career, candidates will need to have either a high school diploma or GED and also complete all of the necessary dialysis tech coursework and training. Dialysis technician training and schools are available through online programs, technical schools, vocational schools and community colleges and cover equipment and dialysis training. Dialysis tech core curriculum includes coursework in dialysis procedures, renal disease and body chemistry. It usually takes around 12 to 18 months in order to complete a program.

For dialysis technicians, certification regulations vary from one state to the next. Therefore you need to check with the specific state you are planning on working in.

Where do Dialysis Technicians work?

A majority of medical technicians are employed by hospitals. However many also work in private doctor’s offices and laboratories. Dialysis technicians in particular might work in the home dialysis industry or programs. Sterility is critical. Therefore it is expected that technicians should follow proper procedures. Usually medical technicians work full-time and might be expected to work weekends or evenings. No matter what the environment is, teamwork is very important.