Dialysis Technician Job Description
A dialysis machine cleans toxins from the blood when the kidneys are no longer functioning and the job description of a dialysis technician is to operate the machine. As the U.S. population continues to age, there will be an increased need for dialysis technicians in hospitals and other medical facilities.
A dialysis technician works very closely with patients to make sure they are calm and comfortable during the procedure, and he or she also works with doctors and nurses to ensure that the equipment runs properly.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities of a Dialysis Technician
- Assembles the dialysis machine and ensures that it is sterile and in good working order before beginning a procedure with a patient.
- Records patient’s information.
- Ensures that the patient is in the proper position for the procedure.
- Inspects the dialysis machine before beginning the procedure to ensure it is in compliance with safety standards.
- Examines a patient’s chart and administers anesthesia, inserts a needle and begins the dialysis procedure.
- Mixes the dialysate formula according to the prescription written by the patient’s physician.
- While the procedure is going on, the technician checks fluid rates and the anticoagulant adjusting them as necessary.
- Monitors the machine for malfunctions and the patient for adverse reactions.
- Responds to any alarms that go off or any emergencies that come up.
- Disconnects the machine after the procedure and cleans and sterilizes it.
- Records the patient’s vital signs before the patient goes home including temperature, weight, respiration rate, blood pressure and pulse.
- Reports any patients’ emotional or physical issues to the nurse on duty.
- Maintains patient confidentiality at all times.
- Assists in educating the patient about care before and after the procedure.
- Takes proper safety precautions to prevent blood borne illnesses.
Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
- Possesses thorough knowledge of how to operate the dialysis machine and how it affects the human body.
- Has the ability to respond quickly and properly to an emergency situation.
- Exhibits mechanical aptitude and dexterity.
- Demonstrates extensive knowledge of how to address a dialysis machine malfunction before it negatively impacts the patient.
- Has knowledge of how the kidney functions and how it works with other organs to keep the body healthy.
- Displays excellent organizational skills and is very detail oriented.
- Possesses strong interpersonal skills as well as excellent written and verbal communication skills.
- Has good active listening abilities.
- Demonstrates excellent reading comprehension skills as well as oral comprehension abilities.
- Exhibits strong technological skills.
- Possesses knowledge of required safety standards in the industry.
Education and Experience
- High School Diploma.
- Dialysis training program through vocational school or community college.
- State licensing following passage of the Board of Nephrology Examination for Nurses and Technicians (BONENT).
- Certified Hemodialysis Technician (CHT) designation.
- Continuing education and license renewal every two to four years.
- Works varying shifts including evenings, weekends and holidays based on the medical facility’s schedule.
- Operates in a highly sterile environment.
- Functions on a team with other healthcare providers.
- Spends many hours standing on feet.
- A dialysis technician typically earns between $25,000 and $45,000 per year depending on experience and the location of the medical facility.