Dialysis technology certificate programs provide participants with a foundation in kidney physiology and nephrological disease. Students learn to ready patients for dialysis treatments, connect patients to dialysis machines, and monitor them during therapy time. They also learn how to clean and disinfect dialyzers after each treatment for reuse.
Both a high school diploma/GED and one year of experience in health care are required for entry to such programs. A background in math or science is helpful. Students should be prepared for a criminal background check as well. Programs last anywhere from 50 to 100 hours and are not usually offered online.
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Dialysis Technician Certification Programs
Certificate program participants take didactic courses and gain clinical skills through simulated lab experiences. Some programs also integrate a professional externship so students can gain first-hand abilities while learning about such concepts as:
- Patient care principles
- Sterilization and infection-prevention techniques
- Water treatment methods
- Anatomy of renal system
- Kidney failure signs
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Dialysis technicians typically work under the supervision of lead technicians, registered nurses or doctors. They can often find work with home health agencies, outpatient medical centers or hospitals. As of October 2016, most dialysis earned between $11.42 and $19.44 an hour, according to Payscale.com. Furthermore, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment of the occupational group health technologists and technicians, all other will grow 23% from 2014-2024. (www.bls.gov).
Dialysis technicians can participate in continuing education courses offered through hospitals and schools. Individuals who have completed a certificate program in dialysis technology may go on to pursue a nursing degree, such as the Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Students who seek supervisory roles may decide to pursue a related managerial program, such as a health care management professional certificate program or a Bachelor of Science in Health Care Administration program.
Individuals who have completed a dialysis certificate program could pursue fee-based professional certifications through such industry organizations as the Board of Nephrology Examiners Nursing and Technology (BONENT) or the National Nephrology Certification Organization. In order to qualify to take either organization's credentialing exam, applicants must meet education or work experience requirements. BONENT also requires the submission of two professional recommendations, and interested individuals must be working as dialysis technicians at the time of application.
Certifications from both organizations are valid for four years and renewable with documentation of continuing education training and recertification fee payment. In addition, recertifying BONENT technicians have the option to retest for renewal or they can choose to be exempt from any requirements for one certification cycle.
Dialysis technician certificate programs are for students wishing to help patients who need dialysis. Such programs teach students about a range of topics, from how to detect signs of kidney failure to the anatomy of the human renal system.