The Dialysis machine and tech may step in when a patient’s kidney function is so low it is no longer cleaning toxins from the blood. The Dialysis Tech works with a team including nurses, doctors and the patient, to make sure everything runs smoothly during the dialysis procedure.
The Dialysis Tech works with the patient and is normally responsible for assembling the machine, making sure everything is sterile and working properly. Checking the patient’s chart and administering local anesthesia, inserting the needle and starting the dialysis as prescribed are the responsibilities of the Dialysis Tech. The Tech will check the fluids throughout the procedure and make necessary adjustments as well as making sure that the patient remains in the proper position. There may be alarms or emergencies that need to be dealt with during the procedure as well. When the dialysis is complete the Dialysis Tech will disconnect the machine and clean it and record the vital signs of the patient.
The Dialysis Tech’s job is very hands-on and sometimes it is necessary to spend time with each patient. As part of the healthcare team administering care to the patient the Tech will confer with other doctors and nurses and make sure they are aware of the patient’s emotional and/or physical state. A commitment to patient confidentiality, willingness to help educate the patient and a positive bedside manner will be necessary in this field.
Technicians are expected to follow proper sterilization procedures as sterility is very important. The Dialysis Tech may work in a hospital, dialysis center, private practices, and even in the patient’s home.
Education requirements for the job of Dialysis Technician will consist of a high school diploma and then coursework and on-the-job training. Previous experience in the medical field can be helpful. Certification requirements vary from state to state. Training can be through the employer, community college or a vocational school. There are national organizations offering standardized testing for certification.