Hemodialysis technicians work primarily in dialysis centers and clinics alongside other medical staff, including doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, nutritionists, and other specialists. They perform dialysis treatment for patients in line with facility requirements and state and federal law; this includes stopping dialysis treatment when needed. Hemodialysis technicians must be able to monitor patients' health status to determine if problems are occurring, which includes interviewing patients and collecting health-related data. They are also responsible for educating patients who undergo home dialysis in how to operate their machines, perform routine maintenance, and troubleshoot everyday problems. Additionally, they perform general dialysis-related maintenance care for patients, such as maintaining fistulas, shunts, and catheters.
Hemodialysis technician positions may require dialysis technician certification, depending on state and local regulations. They also need a high school diploma or equivalent, and previous experience may be required or preferred. These professionals must be able to handle an environment that may be high-stress, as well as have excellent communication and patient care skills. Hemodialysis technicians generally work full time, and while most clinics work during regular business hours, some offices require their technicians to work rotating or swing shifts.
Hemodialysis Technician Tasks
Start equipment and observe gauges and equipment operation to detect malfunctions and to ensure equipment is operating to prescribed standards.
Disinfect and sterilize equipment using sterilizers, aerators, and washers.
Interview patients to measure their vital signs and weight before and after dialysis.
Maintain records of inventory and equipment usage.
Explain treatment procedures, in-home treatments and physicians' instructions to patients.