Individuals who are thinking about pursuing the dialysis technician career path are rarely required to be licensed or attend a dialysis technician school. In most states, facilities offering renal care are expected to comply with laws for provider competency as have been adopted by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Although formal education is not required, some people may decide to complete an approved program in their area to satisfy eligibility requirements associated with a particular examination.
Federal Safety and Quality Standards
According to the CMS Conditions for Coverage (§494.140), “dialysis staff must meet the applicable scope of practice board and licensure requirements in effect in the state in which they are employed. Staff must have the ability to demonstrate and sustain the skills needed to perform the specific duties of their positions.” A patient care dialysis technician must…
1) Meet the state requirements for education, training, credentialing, competency, standards of practice, and certification or licensing.
2) Have a high school diploma or equivalency
3) Complete a training program that is approved by the director and governing body, under the direction of a registered nurse, focused on the operation of kidney dialysis equipment and machines, providing direct patient care, and interpersonal skills including sensitivity training and caring for difficult patients. The training program must include the following subjects…
- Principles of dialysis
- Care of patients with kidney failure
- Dialysis procedures and documentation
- Possible complications
- Water treatment and dialysate preparation
- Infection control
- Dialyzer reprocessing
4) Become certified under the state program or a national commercially available certification program within 18 months of being hired.
Training Program Opportunities
At present, there are not very many dialysis technician school options available for individuals who want to complete the training requirements outside of the employing establishment. In most cases, new employees will receive the formal instruction they need within the facility where they have been hired. States may also have expectations that must be met before providing direct patient care. Additional details about unique competency standards can be acquired by contacting employers directly or getting in touch with the agency responsible for enforcing dialysis regulations.
BONENT Approved Educational Programs
The Board of Nephrology Examiners Nursing and Technology (BONENT) has approved the specific training programs that can be used in order to become eligible to take one of their certification examinations. To apply, individuals must submit the standard exam form along with a copy of one’s high school diploma and a certificate of completion. The instructor must sign the application and a signed reference letter must be included. A list of approved programs is provided here…
4) MK Education
4) Westchester Dialysis and Allied Health Training Center, Inc.
A dialysis technician school like one of those listed above may be a good opportunity for someone who is planning to sit for a BONENT Certification Exam and who lives near a campus location. Before enrolling, it is extremely important to be in contact with potential employers to make sure that they will accept the credentials provided by these programs and have approved one of the BONENT exams. Many facilities have developed their own training programs or have contracted with a local educational institution that is not affiliated with a certification organization. Understanding an employer’s expectations is a critical component for securing employment and can help an individual avoid wasting significant amounts of time and effort in the career advancement process.
Online Programs and Continuing Education
For those who are unable to attend a dialysis technician school, an online program may be an alternative that can help to prepare for a certification exam. The Medical Education Institute offers several services for those who want to become a successful technician including their fairly popular Kidney School and their Core Curriculum for the Dialysis Technician. Those who are in need of some continuing education may want to check out both the National Association of Nephrology Technicians and National Kidney Foundation.
Additional opportunities for continuing education include…
- Dialysis Technician Job Description
- Cost of Dialysis