There is no state office that is responsible for regulating dialysis technician training and certification requirements in Maine. Traditionally, there have been very few state and federal regulations affecting those who work in the dialysis industry as technicians. In most cases, technicians perform their daily job responsibilities under the direct supervision of registered dialysis nurses and physicians. The Maine State Board of Nursing has established some guidelines for nurses working in the dialysis setting.
In 2008, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services added language to their reimbursement policies which require dialysis technicians to complete both a training program and either a state or national certification exam. Technicians who work in regulated states are usually required to comply with similar state regulations, but technicians in states that have no regulations may need to successfully complete the certification process if they wish to continue to be employed by the majority of dialysis clinics across the United States. Most dialysis facilities have adopted training protocols that are designed to prepare technicians for the certification exams.
CMS regulations 494.140 (e)(1-4) require that the patient care technician training and certification requirements include the following:
- 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
Some facilities may have a particular exam that they require their technicians to complete while other facilities may allow technicians to select whichever exam they wish. The regulatory changes now being adopted across all areas of healthcare have made it more important for technicians to stay up-to-date on the federal legislative requirements that affect them. While this does require additional effort, it may have the effect of further establishing the field as a necessary specialty.
Nationally recognized technician 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)
Like other states, Maine is included in one of eighteen national networks established by Congress in 1978. These renal networks were created to ensure comprehensive dialysis therapy across the United States and they are responsible for collecting and analyzing information, promoting rehabilitation, and serving as a resource for both patients and professionals. Maine is part of Network 1 along with Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
Maine Dialysis Technician Training and Career Links
- Dialysis Clinic, Inc
- Eastern Maine Medical Center
- Fresenius Medical Care
- Maine General Health
State Contact Information
Phone: (207) 287-1133
Fax: (207) 287-1149
161 Capitol St, 158 State House Station Augusta, ME 04333
Web Site: Maine State Board of Nursing
National Network: Network of New England