The state of Nebraska does not have requirements specific to dialysis technician training and certification. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services would monitor compliance in dialysis facilities if there were laws that affected technicians. While the state does not license, certify, or register dialysis technicians, it does regulate some allied health professions. Technicians working in dialysis facilities are subject to federal laws regardless of state requirements.
Due to the extremely high costs associated with dialysis, the federal government took over dialysis reimbursement years ago. In the past, patients had a very difficult time trying to pay for treatment especially since most health insurance companies would not cover such an expensive procedure. Unfortunately, many patients died because they could not afford to pay for dialysis therapy or a kidney transplant. Today, patients who suffer from end stage renal failure are able to receive the Medicare benefits that they need in order to survive. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) now cover the majority of the costs of dialysis treatment.
CMS regulations 494.140 (e)(1-4) require that the patient care technician training and certification requirements include the following stipulations:
- 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
The CMS regulations outlined above are manageable compared to those that affect other areas of healthcare. Technicians who work in a regulated state are sometimes required to meet state requirements that exceed those of the federal government. Many clinics in unregulated states require technicians to adhere to similar standards. Ultimately, individuals wishing to pursue a career as a dialysis technician should not let these regulations deter them.
Certification examinations are offered by the following organizations:
- 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)
To ensure the safety of dialysis patients nationwide, Congress created 18 non-profit networks in 1978 that were each tasked with the responsibility of overseeing dialysis facilities in one to six states. These networks routinely collect data, perform statistical analysis, promote rehabilitation, and serve as an informational resource for dialysis patients and clinical personnel. Nebraska is a member of Network 12 along with Kansas, Missouri, and Iowa. The network website is an excellent place to find useful information.
Nebraska Dialysis Technician Training and Career Links
- Avera St. Anthony’s Hospital
- Chadron Community Hospital
- Dialysis Center of Lincoln
- Dialysis Clinic, Inc.
- Fresenius Medical Care
State Contact Information
Phone: (402) 471-3121
Toll-Free: (800) 254-4202
P.O. Box 95026 Lincoln, NE 68509-5026
Web Site: Department of Health and Human Services
National Network: Network 12