Dialysis technician training and certification is not subject to any state regulations in Iowa. Like most other states, Iowa defers regulatory authority for dialysis facilities to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). States take this approach because the government pays for around eighty percent of the costs created by the delivery of dialysis treatment. Since most dialysis clinics are dependent on federal funding in order to continue operating, they must comply with CMS regulations.
Until recently, there were relatively few requirements imposed by the CMS on dialysis facilities across the United States. Within the past several years, language was added to the CMS reimbursement policy which requires dialysis technicians to meet certain guidelines. Clinics that operate in regulated states have no problem meeting federal regulations because they have been complying with similar requirements for many years; whereas, clinics in unregulated states may find that their operational procedures need to be tweaked in order to encourage compliance.
Individuals planning to pursue a career as a dialysis technician should make an effort to learn about state and federal regulations as well as remain up-to-date on changes that may be adopted in the future. As the healthcare environment continues to evolve, many industry professionals anticipate that additional regulations will be enacted. Political awareness among dialysis professionals will help to combat restrictive policies and may serve to promote an expanded scope of practice for the future.
CMS regulations 494.140 (e)(1-4) currently state that patient care technician training and certification requirements must include the following requirements:
- 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
It is important that technicians understand the certification options available to them. In most cases, dialysis technician training can be acquired through the clinic that has offered an employment opportunity. Most states allow clinical directors to design their own curriculum as long as it meets or exceeds state and federal requirements. Individuals should inquire directly with potential employers about the details of local training programs as well as any certification examination requirements.
The most commonly completed certification exams include:
- 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)
Each state in the United States is included in one of eighteen non-profit renal networks that were created by Congress in 1978. These networks are responsible for monitoring the quality of dialysis care being provided in states that are within their jurisdiction. In addition, the networks routinely collect and analyze data, promote rehabilitation, and act as an informational resource for industry professionals and patients. Iowa is included in Network 12 along with Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska.
Iowa Dialysis Technician Training and Career Links
- Dialysis Clinic, Inc.
- Fresenius Medical Care
- Genesis Medical Center
- Mercy Dialysis
- Northwest Iowa Dialysis Center
- Pella Regional Health Center
- Ringgold Country Hospital
- River Valley Dialysis
- St. Anthony Regional Hospital
- Southeastern Renal Dialysis
- University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
- Warner Dialysis Center
- Wayne County Hospital
State Contact Information
Phone: (515) 281-4828
Fax: (515) 281-4825
400 SW 8th St., Ste B Des Moines, IA 50309-4685
Web Site: Iowa Board of Nursing
National Network: Network 12