Dialysis technicians who are sometimes called "hemodialysis technicians" or "nephrology technicians" help care for patients that are experiencing acute or chronic kidney failure. Their job is to maintain and operate the medical equipment that cleanses patients' kidneys of waste products and impurities most often under the supervision of a registered nurse.
Although the main job of dialysis technicians is maintaining and operating machinery that will do the work of patients' failing kidneys they also keep records of patients' medical history and status including measures of their blood pressure. In addition they instruct patients about at-home care between dialysis treatments.
Most dialysis patients come in for treatments several times a week and each session lasts for approximately four hours. This regular contact with the patients means that the dialysis technicians get to know them well are in a position to encourage them assess their health status and are able to report any suspected problems to the patients' doctors.
According to the website guidetohealthcareschools.com dialysis technicians must have at least a high school diploma after which they can take brief courses at technical or vocational schools or community colleges to prepare for this career. However some medical facilities have their own training programs. Those that aspire to advance in the profession can get further training while employed and earn associate's degrees or bachelor's degrees in this field.
Successful completion of a degree or in some cases a set amount of practical on-the-job experience can lead to becoming Certified Clinical Hemodialysis Technicians (CCHTs) which is a requirement in some states. Dialysis technicians usually work 40 hours a week. Job prospects for dialysis technicians are very good and according to the website httpcareers.stateuniversity.com annual salaries range from approximately $26000 to $32500.