The Texas Department of State Health Services is responsible for the licensing of end stage renal disease facilities. The Texas Health and Safety Code legislation states that an individual may not practice as a dialysis technician unless trained and competent under Sec. 251.031 Subchapter C. These rules have been established to protect the health and safety of all end stage renal disease patients. All technicians must be supervised by qualified medical professionals.
In addition to complying with state requirements, dialysis technicians must meet all regulations adopted by the federal government. In the past, dialysis facilities billed patients for the treatment that they received. Since end stage renal disease is a chronic condition, it requires ongoing therapy that includes multiple trips to a dialysis clinic each week for many hours at a time. As one might imagine, this process can become very expensive. Most patients were unable to obtain health insurance policies that would cover the expense. In order to ensure proper health care for these patients, the government made the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) responsible for reimbursing dialysis clinics for approximately 80% of the costs of their services.
The fact that dialysis facilities are dependent on the CMS for the funds they need to remain in operation means that all technicians in the United States will be required to comply with CMS regulations.
CMS regulations 494.140 (e)(1-4) state that the patient care technician training and certification requirements must have the following expectations…
- 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
In most cases, new dialysis technicians will receive the training they need at the facility where they have been hired. The government does mandate that facilities include commonly accepted standards of practice in the training protocol and may specify that the training program be a specific number of hours in length. Training may last from 30 to 90 days and will generally include both classroom instruction and clinical experience. Once a technician has successfully completed a training program, they typically work for a period of 6 to 18 months before sitting for a certification examination.
Options for national certification examination 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)
In an effort to ensure high quality dialysis treatment in the United States, Congress created 18 non-profit renal networks in 1978. Each state belongs to one of these networks. The networks are responsible for tracking the quality of care being provided by facilities within their jurisdiction. They accomplish this through data, rehabilitation promotion, patient education, and personnel support. Networks are an important source of information for technicians. Texas is the only state included in Network 14.
Texas Dialysis Technician Training and Career Links
- American Renal Associates
- Angelo Kidney Connection
- Brazos Dialysis
- Children’s Hospital of San Antonio
- Children’s Medical Center of Dallas
- Childress Regional Medical Center
- Cook Children’s Health Care System
- Dialysis Clinic, Inc.
- Dialyspa Dialysis Center
- Driscoll Children’s Hospital
- DSI Renal, Inc.
- Elik Dialysis Home Therapy
- Fresenius Medical Care
- Gambro Healthcare
- Harris Health System
- Home Dialysis
- Home Kidney Care
- Memorial Hermann
- Quality Dialysis
- Reeves County Hospital
- Reliant Renal Care
- Renal Physician of North Texas
- Renal Services of America
- Renal Solutions, Inc.
- Renal Ventures Management
- Satellite Healthcare
- Scott and White Healthcare
- Shannon Medical Center
- Stafford Dialysis
- Sugar Land Dialysis
- Texas Children’s Hospital
- University Health System
- University of Texas Medical Branch
- US Renal Care
- West Park Dialysis
- Wilbarger General Hospital
- Wise Regional Health System
State Contact Information
Phone: (512) 834-6646
Fax: (512) 834-4514
P.O. Box 149347 Austin, TX 78714-9347
National Network: Network 14