Dialysis Technician Training in California

The California Department of Public Health is the agency that establishes and enforces regulations relating to dialysis technician training and certification in the state of California. Although many states have no formal state regulations for how dialysis technicians are trained, California has taken the initiative to establish some procedural expectations. In order to become a certified hemodialysis technician (CHT) in the state of California, applicants are expected to meet three basic requirements:

  1. Have a High School Diploma or Equivalency
  2. Have successfully completed an approved training program
  3. Have successfully passed an approved certification exam

Since these requirements were recently established by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for clinics in all states that wish to receive reimbursement, there should not be any additional steps that were created by the state adopting similar requirements. A list of dialysis technician training programs in California can be found by clicking here. Individuals wishing to become licensed as a dialysis technician will need to submit the certified hemodialysis technician application. A certification renewal form can be found here.

In addition to the requirements established by the state of California, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has recently established the following requirements.

CMS regulations 494.140 (e)(1-4) state that the patient care technician training and certification requirements in California must meet these guidelines:

    1. Meet all applicable state requirements for:
      • Education
      • Training
      • Credentialing
      • Competency
      • Standards of practice
      • Certification
      • Licensure
    2. Have a High School Diploma or equivalency
    3. Complete an approved training program that includes the following subjects:
      • Principles of dialysis
      • Care of patients with kidney failure
      • Possible complications of dialysis
      • Water treatment and dialysate preparation
      • Infection control
      • Safety
      • Dialyzer reprocessing
    4. Certification by a State or National Program within 18 months of employment

CaliforniaNow that the CMS regulations require all dialysis technicians to be certified in order for facilities to receive reimbursement, it is important for individuals to know their certification options. Dialysis technicians should inquire with the director of their facility about specific requirements prior to completing an examination. In general, a technician will be required to work as a dialysis technician for a period of time prior to seeking certification.

Nationally recognized certification options include the following:

  1. The Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission (NNCC)
  2. The Board of Nephrology Examiners Nursing and Technology (BONENT)
  3. The National Nephrology Certification Organization, Inc. (NNCO)

In 1978, Congress established 18 non-profit networks that are responsible for tracking the quality of dialysis care in the United States. These regional networks each have jurisdiction over one to six states where they promote rehabilitation, collect data, and act as a resource. California is divided between Network 17 along with Hawaii and Network 18. It is here that you can find information about the Local Dialysis Facilities where a technician can receive training.

California Dialysis Technician Training and Career Links

  1. Fresenius Medical Care
  2. Davita
  3. Angel Kidney Care
  4. Antelope Valley Kidney Institute
  5. Beach Cities Dialysis
  6. Children’s Hospital Central California
  7. Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
  8. Children’s Hospital San Diego
  9. Colusa Indian Health Clinic
  10. Community Medical Centers
  11. Avantus Renal Therapy
  12. Dialysis Clinic, Inc
  13. Desert Cities Dialysis
  14. DSI Renal
  15. El Camino Dialysis Center
  16. Florence Dialysis Center

State Contact Information

California State SealPhone:          (916) 552-8811
Fax:               (916) 552-8785
Email:           cna@cdph.ca.gov

P.O. Box 997416, MS 3301     Sacramento, CA 95899-7377

Web Site:     California Department of Public Health

National Network:   Network 17 and Network 18


18 thoughts on “Dialysis Technician Training in California

  1. Jay-r domingo

    I’ve been working in dialysis for almost 9 years and was wondering if there is a California law about how many patients a single technician can handle?

    1. Steve Post author

      Hi Jay-r,

      We are not aware of any regulations that establish a limit on patient load, but we would recommend discussing this with your facility administrator to find out more. In addition, it may be a good idea to contact the state Health Department to see if they can provide any insight into this issue.

  2. Richard Fernandez

    I live in California, Los Angeles to be exact. Throughout the years I’ve explored my options to get into the medical field and do something really impactful for my community. Something that can really fill a need in my community or surrounding communities. After speaking with various people whom are Dialysis patients, it has bothered me that most complain about the care, friendliness, and overall experience at their assigned dialysis center. Thus, motivating me to want to establish my own Dialysis Center, in an effort to provide the highest quality service for patients in my community…which are already struggling to cope with their current circumstance. Where can I get information on establishing a Dialysis Center in California?

    1. Steve Post author

      Hi Richard,

      That is great that you want to improve the patient care experience in the dialysis specialty! Our best recommendation for learning how to open your own treatment center is to contact the Department of Public Health and your local renal network. They should be able to provide additional details about state regulations. We have provided links and contact information for both just above this comment section.

  3. sammie beavers

    I am a certified hemodialysis technician in Arkansas and have worked in dialysis for 22 years. I am considering moving to California and was wanting to know what I would need to do to become eligible for employment.

    1. Steve Post author

      Sammie,

      As long as you have a high school diploma or GED and have completed both a training program and a national certification exam, you should be eligible for employment in California. Of course, individual employers may have their own expectations and we encourage you to contact facilities in the area where you intend to move to find out more about their unique requirements. We have provided a list of links to several large dialysis organizations operating in California above this comment section.

  4. Katey

    Hi,

    I currently live in Washington State and am thinking about going to school to become a Hemodialysis Technician. I would like to eventually move to California. My question is: if I go to school and do all the certification requirements for Washington, what all will I have to do to become certified in California?

    Sincerely,
    Katey

    1. Steve Post author

      Katey,

      The California Department of Public Health does require dialysis technicians to complete an approved training program. You may be able to transfer your credentials from Washington State to California when you decide to move. Many states allow individuals in healthcare professions to become licensed or certified through reciprocity. We highly recommend that you review the state’s equivalency process and reciprocity policies before enrolling in a training program. It is also a good idea to contact the Health Department directly to find out if the program you are considering will meet their requirements. If you intend to complete a nationally recognized certification exam then there shouldn’t be anything more to do other than submit documentation showing that you passed.

  5. Nancy Flores

    Hello,

    My name is Nancy Flores and I have a question regarding the California state exam. Do I only need to take the CCHT Exam to get certified? The school I attended told me that I need to take a California state exam and then the CCHT exam. I don’t know what exam they are referring to. I live in California and want to be certified by the state. I have completed my school hours and clinical training. I need some guidance on what exam to take to get certified.

    Thank you for your time!

    1. Steve Post author

      Nancy,

      According to state law, a dialysis technician must either pass a standardized test that is approved by the department or pass an examination offered by a national, commercially available certification program for hemodialysis technicians which is approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. A list of approved testing providers can be found here. You only need to pass one exam whether it be the California Dialysis Council (CDC) State Approved Exam or one of the CMS approved National Exams. A brief outline of the certification requirements can be found on the California Dialysis Council website.

  6. kim

    Hello, I live in Sacramento, CA and have been searching for a school that offers a hemodialysis technician training program. I was wondering if you could recommend any? Thank You.

    1. Steve Post author

      Kim,

      The California Department of Public Health publishes a list of training programs that exist throughout the state. You can find the list of certified hemodialysis training programs in the Sacramento area by clicking here. Many programs are administered by companies that provide dialysis treatment and it is always a good idea to contact potential employers to learn about their training expectations and to find out which programs have been approved.

  7. Mario

    I live in New jersey and am planning to move to California. I am wondering how much a dialysis tech with 7 years of experience can make on an hourly rate?

    1. Steve Post author

      Mario,

      The dialysis technician salary can vary a lot depending on prior credentials, place of employment, and geographic location. In general, you will likely be able to make between $35,000 and $50,000 per year according to Indeed.com statistics. These numbers represent an hourly rate of anywhere from $16 to $24 per hour. You’ll need to contact potential employers directly in order to get a better idea of what you can expect to make.

  8. Stormy Gutierrez

    Hello, I was wondering if anyone can give me info on dialysis tech training? I live in Bellflower, CA and need info on any kind of training around me or in the Los Angeles area? Thank you!

    1. Steve Scott

      Hi, I know it’s been a few months, but one of the most respected dialysis technician training programs is right there in Bellflower: Dialysis Education Services. It takes only 4-6 months to complete the program and costs $6500 spread over four payments.

  9. Latonya Aaron

    I am a CCHT dialysis technician working for Fresenius Medical Care. I am currently working for their travel department and am interested in taking a travel assignment in California. With me already being certified in Georgia, what other steps do I need to take in order to work in California?

    1. Steve Post author

      Latonya,

      California Certified Hemodialysis Technician Requirements are established by the Department of Public Health and can be found on Page 3 of the Initial/Renewal Application. In general, regulated states will allow you to become certified through reciprocity if you have completed an approved training program in another state and have passed a certification exam. You might want to contact the Department of Public Health directly if you wish to obtain additional details on the process. I hope that helps.

      Thank you for visiting.

      Steve

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