Working as a dialysis technician is one of the best ways to jump start a career in the health care industry. This particular profession is quite popular and there are many reasons why. We cover this in detail in our previous article on “Why become a Dialysis Technician“. Suffice to say that dialysis technicians are quite in demand these days, draw a decent if not a good pay packet and have one the more lighter workloads when compared to any other health care professions. I’m sure all of this has peaked your interest, so let’s take a detailed look at what exactly is the work of Dialysis Technician.
In essence, dialysis technicians operate the equipment used for dialysis procedures. They set up the dialyzer machine, add the right amount of dialysate according to patient needs, and adjust the proper dialyzer settings before starting the procedure.
Dialysis technicians also control the functions of the dialyzer machine. They check for machine problems and recommend equipment repair or replacement whenever necessary. They also perform maintenance checks for the equipment on a regular basis. They make sure that the machines are properly cleaned after each use.
Day to Day Tasks and Schedule
Apart from the main task of conducting dialysis, a renal dialysis technician is also expected to do other related work. Some of the tasks and responsibilities that they are usually in charge of aside from handling the dialyzer equipment are
- Checking patient profiles for dialysis requirements. Dialysis technicians check patient data for protocols they will use for a dialysis. Through these data, they will know how much dialysate to add to the machine, as well as adjust the right settings for dialysis.
- Prepare the patient for dialysis. Dialysis technicians clean and dress up the patient who will undergo dialysis. These include cleaning the areas where the tubes and needles will be attached and placing the patient in a comfortable position so that dialysis can start.
- Monitor dialysis functions. A normal dialysis procedure takes up to four hours. Dialysis technicians are thus present throughout the whole procedure to make sure that the equipment is working properly.
- Respond to emergency situations. While most dialysis procedures turn out fine, unexpected events can still take place, such as patient convulsions, difficulty in breathing, hypertension, etc. Dialysis technicians thus serve as the emergency response personnel who will attend to such problems when a nurse or doctor is not present.
- Cleaning and maintenance of the dialysis room. Dialysis technicians are in charge of cleaning the dialysis equipment after use, as well as the whole dialysis room after each procedure. Cleaning includes disposal and replacement of used supplies, changing of sheets, and disinfecting the floor and atmosphere to make the room ready for the next scheduled dialysis session.
Dialysis technicians usually handle three to four patients per day depending on the establishment they work for. Unlike other health care workers, they get to enjoy regular hours of work. Working in shifts only take place in bigger health care facilities such as hospitals or nursing homes. Dialysis technicians in smaller clinics and diagnostic centers usually work fixed hours. That said, there might always be the requirement to work on weekends depending on the patient load and their employer’s requirements.
Since most of the their working hours is spent working on dialysis procedures, dialysis technicians are not expected make the rounds or rotate in different work assignments unlike nurses or scrubs. This is one of the perks on the profession. Fixed hours and fixed type of work most of the time translates to a more relaxed work environment and way less stress when compared to other nursing and health care professions.
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