The Office of Professional Regulation does not have dialysis technician training and certification requirements. Individuals who plan to work as a dialysis technician in Vermont are still obligated to comply with the regulations recently added to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reimbursement policy. These laws require technicians to meet certain guidelines before helping patients. Facility coordinators are a very good source of additional information.
End stage renal disease is a long-term medical condition that requires multiple trips to a dialysis facility each week where the blood is cleaned for hours at a time. The chronic nature of this illness translates into tremendous healthcare costs that most patients are unable to afford. In the past, dialysis clinics would bill patients directly for their treatment since most health insurance companies would not issue policies for such an expensive procedure. The federal government ultimately decided to shift the burden of dialysis reimbursement from patients to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). This act made taxpayers responsible for paying the costs associated with dialysis.
Nearly all dialysis facilities in the United States are dependent on CMS reimbursement for the operating revenue that they need to continue to remain open. This means that all dialysis technicians will be required to comply with federal regulations if they hope to secure employment at most facilities. Fortunately, the government has not yet imposed laws that are difficult to follow.
CMS regulations 494.140 (e)(1-4) state that the patient care technician training and certification requirements must incorporate the following standards…
- 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
Dialysis technician training programs are most often developed by individual facilities. As long as the training protocol includes topics on commonly accepted standards of practice then facility administrators are given a lot of freedom to design their own curriculum. In most cases, training will last anywhere from 30 to 90 days and will include both clinical experience and classroom instruction. Following successful completion of a training program, most technicians will work for a period of 6 to 18 months before sitting for a certification examination.
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)
Currently, there are 18 non-profit networks that monitor the quality of care being offered by facilities throughout the United States. These networks were developed by Congress to promote comprehensive patient care. Each network monitors facilities in 1 to 6 states where they analyze data, prepare reports, promote patient education, and act as a resource for facility personnel. Vermont is part of Network 1 along with Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island.
Vermont Dialysis Technician Training and Career Links
State Contact Information
Phone: (802) 828-1505
Fax: (802) 828-2368
Email: Contact Form
89 Main St, 3rd Floor Montpelier, VT 05620-3402
National Network: Network of New England