Dialysis technician training

While a formal bachelor degree is not required for students who wish to become dialysis technicians, they are required to undergo post-secondary education due to the technical competency required on the job. Students can enroll in associate degree programs at local community colleges to gain a better understanding of the medical equipment, the treatment as well as other skills required in a clinical setting.
Following the program, students can find employment in medical clinics or even hospitals depending where dialysis programs are located. For some patients who are able to afford a dialysis machine at home, they may hire dialysis technicians to assist with their healthcare regiments. As our medical advances have paved the way for viable treatments for more conditions, healthcare technicians like dialysis technicians will be in greater demand.
An associate degree level training for a dialysis technician is a two year program with a combination of classroom instructions and hands-on practical training. The reason is that dialysis technicians are not administrators who work in abstract theory, they actually have to administer the treatment with patients directly. Here are some of the courses which students are expected to take in a dialysis technician training program1:
• First aid: Anything can happen in a healthcare setting. Depending on the patient’s condition when they arrive at the clinic or hospital, the unexpected can happen. As a result, students have to take basic first aid training in case anything happens to patients during their dialysis treatment.
• Overview of kidney disease: These courses are designed to provide students with the background on the disease for which they are administering the treatment. They will learn about the functions of the kidney and how that affects the rest of the body. They will also learn how the disease affects the body’s overall function and how dialysis can assist those with kidney malfunction or failure to function a normal life.
• Dialysis: Students will learn about the process of dialysis and how the treatment helps patients with kidney disease. They learn how to initialize the treatment, including connecting patients to the machine, how to operate the machine, what to look for when monitoring patients and how water plays into the dialysis process. They will also learn about the different levels/dosage required by patience and working with doctors and nurses to ensure the patients are getting the right level of care.
• Clinical practicum: Students will be provided the opportunity to work in a clinic or hospital setting where they will be paired up with an experienced technician. Through this exercise, they will observe how the procedure is administered with patients as well gain hands-on experience in working with the equipment.
• Medical terminology: Sometimes dialysis patients may take more than one medication or have additional medical requirements. Dialysis technicians are required to be able to identify and understand some of the common medical terminology to ensure that the treatment does not negatively impact the patient’s overall health.
• Patient assessment: As part of the monitoring process, dialysis technicians are required to understand how to assess the patient’s vital signs to ensure there is nothing wrong with the patient during the procedure.
• Human anatomy and physiology: Students will have the opportunity to learn about the body as a whole and how the kidney affects the overall function of the body.
For more information on the courses required for a dialysis technician’s training, please contact your counselor.
1. Hemodialysis Patient Care Technician Associate Degree Program. Baker College. http://www.baker.edu/programs-degrees/hemodialysis-patient-care-technician-associate/#course-information

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