Dialysis technicians work throughout the country. They are employed by hospitals, nursing homes, dialysis centers, and health care agencies.
The best way to enter this field is through a formal training program in a hospital or other training facility. You may also contact your local hospital and dialysis center to determine the possibility of on-the-job training. Some hospitals pay trainees as they learn.
Other ways to enter this field are through schools of nurse assisting, practical nursing, or nursing programs for emergency medical technicians. The length of time required to progress through the dialysis training program and advance to higher levels of responsibility should be shorter if you first complete a related training program. Most dialysis centers offer a regular program of in-service training for their employees.
Dialysis technicians who have gained knowledge, skills, and experience advance to positions of greater responsibility within their units and can work more independently. They may also work in supervisory positions. Guidelines from the National Association of Nephrology Technicians/Technologists encourage a distinction between technicians and technologists, with the latter having additional training and broader responsibilities. Some technologists conduct biochemical analyses or research studies to improve equipment. Not all dialysis units make this distinction.
A technician looking for career advancement in the patient-care sector may elect to enter nurses' training; many states require that supervisory personnel in this field are registered nurses. Social, psychological, and counseling services appeal to others who find their greatest satisfaction in interacting with patients and their families.
A dialysis technician interested in biomedical equipment may advance by focusing on machine technology and return to college for a degree in biomedical engineering or other related field.
Tips for Entry
Volunteer in a hospital, nursing home, dialysis center, or other patient-care facility to gain experience and learn what it is like to care for patients.
Research job descriptions from the National Association of Nephrology Technicians/Technologists and the Board of Nephrology Examiners Nursing Technology. If your interest lies specifically in the area of nursing, you may want to contact the American Nephrology Nurses' Association.
Visit the National Kidney Foundation's Web site (http://www.kidney.org) to learn more about kidney disease and its treatments.
Read Nephrology News & Issues (https://www.healio.com/nephrology), a professional journal that covers such topics as government policies and regulations, quality of life issues, and developments in treatments.
Visit https://www.careerwebsite.com/?site_id=22764 for job listings.