Dialysis Technician Training
The Dialysis Technician
A career as a Dialysis Technician is extremely fulfilling. It is an excellent field for those who wish to help others in a medical capacity without an extensive college education. Here, a person is devoted to assisting others in living active lives that otherwise wouldn’t have that opportunity.
When someone has a kidney dysfunction, he or she must receive a treatment called dialysis, administered by a trained technician in a health care facility. You will find Dialysis Technicians in hospitals or clinics, small doctors’ offices or even in a dialysis unit run by a private company.
These technicians are also known as Hemodialysis (also Haemodialysis) Technicians, Patient Care Technicians (PCTs), Renal Dialysis Technicians or Nephrology Specialists
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What is Dialysis?
Dialysis is an important medical procedure for people whose kidneys have been damaged or have failed due to disease. Healthy kidneys filter about 1500 liters of blood each day. Without this filtering occurring, waste builds up in the blood and can eventually lead to the person’s death. Dialysis purifies the blood of someone with poorly functioning kidneys and truly saves the life of that person.
Normally functioning kidneys filter out waste and regulate the levels of water and minerals in the body. When an individual has temporary loss of their kidney function or has permanent loss of function due to disease, they need to have the waste and unwanted water in the blood removed regularly by this artificial procedure known as dialysis.
Above: A Hemodialysis Machine in Use
This clinical process separates the waste particles from the blood by filtering the blood through a specially designed membrane. This is a workable substitute for what the kidneys do when normally functioning. In dialysis, blood is removed from the patient via a tube, pumped into a machine where it is cleansed and filtered mechanically, then returned to the patient.
The two main types of dialysis are hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. Of these two, the most common treatment is hemodialysis, where the blood is cleaned in a machine exterior to the body before returning it to the patient. This is the kind of treatment a Dialysis Technician performs.
The Duties and Responsibilities of a Dialysis Technician
A Dialysis Technician is a person trained to operate a dialysis machine and assist the patient throughout the treatment, taking all necessary safety precautions. There are a number of factors important to becoming an effective technician in the field, including a thorough education. There are other points a person may want to consider when looking into this as a career.
Because patients on dialysis are under treatment for about four hours per session and come for the procedure at the rate of approximately three sessions per week, a technician is on his or her feet a lot during the day. There will be much moving about between multiple patients and dialysis machines. An applicant must have good physical stamina to be able to cope with this type of work.
Operating the machines takes a good mechanical aptitude and the entire procedure requires the technician to have some scientific understanding of what is taking place.
Many patients are somewhat overwhelmed by the length and stress of the dialysis procedure, so a technician should have the ability to reassure them and make them comfortable. Thus technicians must have an excellent bedside manner, and strong communication skills come into play.
A technician must be able to maintain their people skills for an extended period of time, due to the length of time of the treatments. Side effects that patients experience must be dealt with efficiently.
Common Dialysis Technician Tasks
Under the supervision of nurses and physicians, Dialysis Technicians effectively perform dialysis on those who have acute or chronic kidney failure. Some of their responsibilities include:
- Taking patient history
- Determining pulse rate
- Recording blood pressure and other vital signs
- Operating the dialysis machines
- Cleaning and sterilizing the dialysis machines
- Checking the apparatus to ensure it is operating properly
- Monitoring patients during dialysis
- Helping the patient feel at ease before, during and after treatment
- Performing any needed procedures after the patient undergoes dialysis
- Ensuring chemicals the patient receives remain in proper dosage
- Exercise strict safety precautions while handling blood products
There are over 350,000 patients who receive regular dialysis treatments, and this means a high demand in this field for efficient and competent technicians. Extending the lives of those who otherwise would die from kidney disease can be a satisfying and rewarding health care career.
Interested in a New Career as a Dialysis Technician?
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