What is a Dialysis Technician?

 

Dialysis technicians are individuals that control kidney dialysis machines.  These machines are used as filters when the patient’s kidney simply won’t filter (or doesn’t do a good job of filtering) fluids and products from the patient’s blood.  These dialysis techs have certain technical and clinical skills to help the facility provide both patient care and ongoing maintenance to the dialysis equipment.  Dialysis techs are required to perform their duties under the supervision of a RN or a licensed physician.

Typically the technician will ready the equipment, acquire the patient information including weight and vitals, observes the dialysis patient during the actual dialysis procedure, administer local anesthetics if necessary, check on patients for any complications during the dialysis procedure, and even sometimes train patients for at-home dialysis procedures if necessary.

The state requirements for dialysis technicians are different for every state, but generally the prospective technician must perform a certain number of hours to obtain certification and also pass an exam.

Generally dialysis technicians work in out-patient dialysis facilities.  These facilities are generally clean and climate-controlled making them nice places to work.  Even so, techs will find themselves standing on their feet most of the day, so the job can be strenuous.  Working on weekends and after hours is fairly common, so that all patients will have the ability to get dialysis after work hours.

Although the dialysis is a fairly specific procedure to a fairly specific individual, the dialysis technician will soon be qualified to handle multiple functions after a certain amount of on the job experience.

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