Dialysis technicians work in hospitals and medical clinics operating dialysis machines for patients whose kidneys don’t function properly or have completely failed. Prospective technicians can enroll in certificate programs and are required to pass state licensing exams before they are eligible to work in hospitals or clinics.
Patients generally receive dialysis at a hospital or clinic, with an attending healthcare professional present while the technician operates the medical equipment. Dialysis technicians also prep patients, give local anesthesia, monitor patients’ progress and create written reports for the doctor. Without dialysis, patients with renal failure would have few options; dialysis technicians help these patients reclaim life one dialysis at a time.
The subjects taken up in dialysis training can cover such areas as learning about the equipment used for renal dialysis, the ethics and laws of medical care and certain techniques a technician will use when caring for his or her patients. There will be many hours of supervised clinical training.
A high school diploma or GED is required to enter a dialysis technician training program, which typically includes courses in venipuncture, local anesthesia administration, vital signs monitoring, preparing patients for dialysis and recognizing the warning signs of complications. Dialysis technology programs usually consist of equal amounts of time spent in classrooms, clinics, and laboratories.