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Dialysis Technician Job Description, Career as a Dialysis Technician, Salary, Employment

Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

Education and Training: High school

Salary: $25,682 to $32,413 per year

Employment Outlook: Very good

Definition and Nature of the Work

Dialysis technicians work with people whose kidneys no longer work properly or at all. These technicians, who are sometimes called hemodialysis technicians or patient care technicians (PCTs), operate machines that remove wastes, salt, and extra water from patients' blood while keeping safe levels of certain chemicals. Dialysis patients generally use the machine for about four hours, three times a week. The technicians prepare patients for dialysis, monitor them and the machine during dialysis, and perform required procedures when dialysis is completed. Dialysis technicians help patients feel comfortable during the procedure and keep the machine in good working condition.

Most dialysis technicians work in hospitals under the supervision of a registered nurse. Others work in dialysis units run by private companies.

Education and Training Requirements

You need a high school diploma to become a dialysis technician. Various community colleges, vocational schools, and training centers across the country offer programs leading to certification. Courses in science and health are useful, as is volunteer or part-time work in a hospital. Mechanical ability is also important in this job.

Dialysis technicians train on the job. In a hospital they are taught how to operate the machine by a registered nurse. Companies that have dialysis units may also offer training.

Getting the Job

You can apply directly to hospitals or companies that have dialysis units. In addition, check state and private employment services for job listings and information.

A dialysis technician monitors a patient on a dialysis machine, which removes waste substances from the blood of people with kidney problems. (© Martha Tabor/Working Images Photographs. Reproduced by permission.)

Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook

Advancement is possible with education and experience. Technicians working in large dialysis units may become chief technicians. With further training, some dialysis technicians become biomedical equipment technicians.

The employment outlook is very good through the year 2012. The field is growing steadily and there is a need for qualified workers.

Working Conditions

Technicians work forty hours a week. They often work with people who need understanding and encouragement. They must be careful workers who can keep calm in a medical emergency.

Where to Go for More Information

National Association of Nephrology Technicians/Technologists
PO Box 2307
Dayton, OH 45401-2307
(877) 607-6268

National Kidney Foundation
30 E. 33rd St.
New York, NY 10016
(800) 622-9010

Earnings and Benefits

Salaries vary with experience. In 2005 salaries for dialysis technicians ranged from $25,682 to $32,413. Benefits include paid holidays and vacations, sick leave, and health insurance.

Additional topics

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