Hawaii has not officially adopted legislation governing the training and certification of dialysis technicians within the state. While technicians do serve a key role in providing dialysis treatment to patients, they are never responsible for performing complex medical procedures that would require regulation. For this reason, many states allow dialysis facilities to create and administer their own training protocols. Although the state of Hawaii has no official regulations affecting technicians, the federal government does.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has added language to its reimbursement policy that requires all clinics to provide evidence that their dialysis technicians have completed a training program and successfully passed a state or national certification examination. Since the CMS are responsible for approximately 80% of the costs associated with dialysis, it stands to reason that the majority of dialysis clinics in the United States will need to comply with this new piece of legislation. Regulated states have been enforcing similar requirements for many years making it easier for clinics in these states to address the new requirements. Facilities operating in unregulated states may need to restructure their administrative procedures in order to adapt to CMS expectations.
CMS regulations 494.140 (e)(1-4) state that the patient care technician training and certification requirements meet these guidelines:
- Meet all applicable state requirements for:
- Standards of practice
- Have a High School Diploma or equivalency
- 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
- Dialyzer reprocessing
- Certification by a State or National Program within 18 months of employment
New quality initiatives in healthcare have created an employment environment that places legislative emphasis on technician credentials. In recent years, it has become increasingly important for individuals to actively pursue the certification process. Proactively enhancing qualifications will ensure that certified dialysis technicians enjoy a long and rewarding career. The first step in advancing your career in this field is to understand the certification options.
The following are nationally recognized certification exams:
- The Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission (NNCC)
- Certified Clinical Hemodialysis Technician (CCHT) Exam
- The Board of Nephrology Examiners Nursing and Technology (BONENT)
- Certified Hemodialysis Technician (CHT) Exam
- The National Nephrology Certification Organization, Inc. (NNCO)
In addition to increasing the formal dialysis technician certification requirements, the federal government has been a major player in monitoring the quality of dialysis treatment throughout the United States for many years. In fact, Congress created 18 networks across the country that have been given the important job of promoting treatment, analyzing health outcomes, and providing information to professionals and patients in their jurisdictions. Hawaii is a member of Network 17.
Hawaii Dialysis Technician Training and Career Links
National Network: Network 17