Key Skills & Requirements to become a Dialysis Technician
Dialysis Technicians are among the most in demand health care careers at present. Their primary role is to handle the dialysis machine and conduct the procedure on patients that need dialysis. At the same time they also take on additional duties that a typical nurse performs on their patients. Dialysis technicians are in constant demand due to the growing number of individuals suffering from kidney issues especially among the elderly and people with kidney related problems.
But how does one become a Dialysis Technician? or more precisely, what are the requirements for a Dialysis Technicians? Like any medical career, dialysis technicians will have to undergo both theoretical and practical training. For more on the topic, refer to our previous articles on “What is a Dialysis Technician“, “Dialysis Technician Schools” and “Online Dialysis Technician Training“. Once the training is done, you would need to appear for a certification examination and then proceed to appear for the state licensing exam before you can be employed.
Before you can appear for certification and licensing, you will need to undergo the required education and practical training. Those who wish to become dialysis technicians must first undergo theoretical and practical training either at an on-campus institution or an online educational course. There are quite a few training programs being offered by both educational institutions and medical establishments today. Aspiring students can check out courses and programs offered in junior and community colleges, nursing schools, medical schools and online colleges.
Courses in dialysis technician training generally last between six months and two years depending on the type of program and range of subjects covered. Basic courses tend to be longer as they have a comprehensive coverage of dialysis technician and related medical classes. There are also advanced programs which may be taken in order to advance to higher or lateral medical position. While on the subject of training, current dialysis technicians can take up shorter continuing educational courses to keep abreast of the changes in the field and satisfy one the main conditions of their licensing. Continuous education will also help in moving up in your career and in your profession as well.
In order to be accepted to a dialysis technician course, one should have completed their secondary education such as graduating high school or equivalent GED.
Practical training for dialysis technicians are usually part of the course curriculum. Students are given time to work on laboratory equipment such as dialyzer machines and related tools and instruments. They also have to complete internships in kidney care clinics or hospitals for a number of hours in order to graduate.
There are some institutions that offer free or discounted courses in for aspiring dialysis technicians. In exchange, students would have to render hours of unpaid work at hospitals or partner health care institutions. These are good training grounds for people who want to work in the said field while being trained at a much lower cost and not to mention the opportunity to find steady employment right after graduation.
After graduating from your Dialysis Technician course, you are encouraged to appear for the certification exam conducted by the Board of Nephrology Examiners Nursing and Technology, BONENT in short. Getting yourself certified is important as it validates your knowledge and experience in the field, infact recent rules have now made it mandatory. Once you have cleared your certification you are then eligible to appear for your state licensing exam.
Being certified and being licensed are two different things altogether. Post your training and graduation, you are now required to appear for your BONENT certification exam and be certified. Once you are certified, you can then take up your state licensing exam. If you clear the state licensing exam you are now a Certified Hemodialysis Technician (CHT)
While this is not a hard requirement, aspiring dialysis technicians can really go far is they possess good patient handling skills. Knowing how to take care of patients especially when they are moody and irritable due to their health condition is a skill that needs to be gained with experience. Good work ethic and being responsible and handle responsibility is very important when it comes to performing medical work. A good sense of structure and maintenance of equipment is also vital. Following medical protocols and equipment related maintenance protocols at all times is part and parcel of the job.
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