The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services regulates and monitors dialysis technician training and certification within the state. According to the New Hampshire Code of Administrative Rules, dialysis technicians must be qualified through education and technical training as required by the dialysis center’s policies and procedures. Registered nurses who delegate the task of medication administration to technicians must:
- Ensure that the technician is under direct supervision of a registered nurse
- Document that the technician has received required competency verification
- Keep a copy of client assessment documentation in the client record
In the past, dialysis patients were responsible for paying for the treatment that they received. Given the fact that this type of treatment is extremely expensive, it was impossible for most patients to come up with the necessary funds to pay for the life-saving therapy that they needed. In addition, health insurance companies were usually unwilling to issue policies for end stage renal disease because of the tremendous expense that they would incur in the event that the policy holder needed dialysis. Fortunately, the federal government realized that reimbursement for dialysis would need to be taken over. Today, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) covers around 80% of the costs associated with dialysis treatment.
In an effort to ensure patient safety and high quality care, the CMS added language to its reimbursement policy that requires government financed dialysis treatment facilities to provide proof that technicians have completed both an approved training program and either a state or national certification exam. These regulations are in addition to any requirements that the state might impose.
Technicians working in regulated states are usually in compliance with federal law as a result of meeting state requirements, but technicians working in unregulated states may need to take additional steps to comply with the competency regulations established by the CMS.
CMS regulations 494.140 (e)(1-4) require that the patient care technician training and certification requirements incorporate the following standards:
- Meet all state requirements for:
- Standards of practice
- Have a High School Diploma or GED
- Complete an approved program that includes the following:
- 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 first step in proactively complying with state and federal regulations is to understand the training and certification options available to dialysis technicians. Many states allow dialysis facilities to design their own training protocol as long as it meets commonly accepted standards within the industry. Aspiring technicians will need to contact their local dialysis employers if they wish to learn more about the details of training programs in their area. Since most states do not have their own certification exam, technicians most commonly complete at least one of the three national exams that are available.
National dialysis technician certification organizations 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)
The federal government has actively been monitoring the quality of dialysis treatment being delivered throughout the United States for many years. In 1978, Congress created 18 non-profit renal networks. These networks are responsible for acquiring and analyzing data, promoting patient therapy, and serving as an information resource for patients and clinical staff. New Hampshire is a member of Network 1 along with Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
New Hampshire Dialysis Technician Training and Career Links
State Contact Information
Phone: (603) 271-9254
Fax: (603) 271-5590
Email: Contact Form
129 Pleasant St Concord, NH 03301-3852
Web Site: Department of Health and Human Services
National Network: Network of New England