Dialysis Technician Training

A dialysis patient care technician is a very important member of the dialysis clinic staff whose primary job role is to help registered nurses and physicians meet the growing demand for renal therapy. Recent increases in the prevalence of diabetes and high blood pressure in the United States have resulted in a large number of end stage renal disease cases. Dialysis demand has been outpacing the healthcare system’s ability to provide services. This has led to an increase in the number of technicians that are being hired.


Unlike most allied health careers, the dialysis technician training environment does not have a formal degree requirement that must be completed in order to enter the occupation. In fact, most technicians receive the necessary training directly from the dialysis clinic or healthcare facility that has hired them. These facilities develop their own approach to training technicians that is meant to give individuals the knowledge and skills they need to carry out their specific responsibilities within a particular facility. While many of these clinics will train technicians to perform a set of core tasks, there are slight differences that distinguish facilities from each other.

Some states have established specific dialysis technician training standards that facilities must comply with in order to meet quality standards, but there is no detailed set of national standards that all facilities in the United States must follow. Until recently, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) did not even have established standards for how technicians should be trained. The CMS is the government organization that is responsible for reimbursing dialysis facilities for approximately 80% of the costs associated with dialysis. Anytime that a government organization is responsible for an expense of this size, they will typically establish detailed guidelines that institutions must follow in order to receive reimbursement.

In 2008, the CMS added language to federal dialysis legislation that established a few dialysis technician training requirements that facilities must follow in order to continue to receive reimbursement. According to federal regulations, a technician must meet all federal and state requirements for education, training, and competency to provide patient care in dialysis facilities. A technician must have a high school diploma or equivalency and complete a job-specific training program which addresses the curricula prescribed by the ESRD Conditions for Coverage (CfCs) at §494.140(e)(3) before independently providing care to patients. In addition, dialysis technician training must be followed by certification by an approved program within 18 months of hire. At the time that these regulations were passed, the CMS had approved 3 national and 10 state certification programs.

National certification programs that meet dialysis technician training standards:

  1. Board of Nephrology Examiners for Nursing and Technology (BONENT)
  2. Nephrology Nursing Certifying Commission (NNCC)
    • Certification Offered: Certified Clinical Hemodialysis Technician (CCHT)
    • Certification Period: 3 Years
    • Re-certification Requirements: 10 education hours + 1,000 annual work hours
    • Experience Required: 6 months
    • Testing Sites: ANNA and CBT Centers
  3. National Nephrology Certification Organization (NNCO)

Dialysis technician training requirements vary in different states. Most states defer the certification to the three organizations listed above, but there are a few that offer a state certification examination as well. It is always a good idea to research the requirements in your state so that you are aware of what to expect. Fortunately, we have consolidated most of the information regarding state specific requirements on this site. You can find the information that is relevant to you by visiting your state specific page.

8 thoughts on “Dialysis Technician Training

  1. Jeremy Jeff Pantja

    I’m taking a technical course for the Patient Care Technician and am almost done. I would like to continue my studies as a Hemodialysis Tech, but do not know where to go. I applied to Davita, but did not qualify. Do you have any suggestions. I reside in VB, VA, Thanks!

    1. Steve Post author

      Jeremy,

      We are sorry to hear that you were not able to qualify for Davita. Our best recommendation is to inquire with other treatment facilities about training programs offered in-house or through independent educational institutions in the area. Most employers have approved specific programs that are required in order to begin providing direct patient care. In addition, you may want to ask Davita why you did not qualify and what can be done to become eligible for their programs.

    1. Steve Post author

      Mechael,

      Many technicians acquire the education and training they need through programs offered by local treatment facilities or vocational schools. Our best advice is to contact clinics in the Baltimore region to find out if they offer training or if they can recommend an approved training program that is administered through a local independent educational institution. You can find links to some of the largest dialysis organizations operating in Maryland on our state specific page.

  2. Nadine Cassion Joseph

    My name is Nadine Cassion Joseph. I am an LPN from New York and am planning on relocating to Dallas, TX. I am interested in working as a dialysis technician and was wondering where I can find training?

    1. Steve Post author

      Nadine,

      Many treatment facilities provide their own in-house training programs. We generally recommend that individuals contact local employers to find out about opportunities that they offer as well as approved programs that are administered through local community colleges and vocational schools. It is very important to make sure that the training you receive is officially recognized by the employer before enrolling in a program.

  3. P Cronin

    I am an RN with a suspended nursing license in the state of Ohio. I will be able to apply for reinstatement in 12/2014. The license will have narcotic restrictions. I am presently working in retail and miss patient care.

    I have several years of ICU experience but no direct hemodialysis experience. What is your opinion of my training as a dialysis tech while I await reinstatement.

    1. Steve Post author

      In general, the best approach would be to contact potential employers about what you can do now to improve your understanding of the industry and start acquiring the knowledge and skills necessary to provide comprehensive patient care. The employers listed on this page can serve as excellent resources when it comes to advising you on how to enter the profession and which training programs to pursue. We also recommend that you start reading through the books linked to in the sidebar. These texts are excellent at preparing individuals for a career as a dialysis technician.

      Thank you for your visit and please let us know if we can be of further assistance.

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