Becoming certified as a Hemodialysis Technician gives you the ability to provide the best of care for dialysis patients. This is a huge responsibility – to give quality patient care to those who otherwise would not be able to live normal lives.
It is a simple process to become a certified clinical Hemodialysis Technician, although it takes determined application of time, skills and study.
Certified Clinical Hemodialysis Technician (CCHT)
A CCHT is a person who has been legally certified as a Hemodialysis Technician in the field of Nephrology. Their knowledge, skills and abilities are tested and validated, proving their competency in the field, and opening up further career opportunities.
The Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission (NNCC) is the organization that offers the exam for certification as a CCHT. It documents all the rules and regulations for certification and continuing education.
Perhaps the worst fear of anyone suffering from renal failure is getting the proper care. Health care providers know this, and want to protect patients from incompetent caregivers. Requiring specific certification protects the public and gives the caregiver an advantage in being hired by top health care institutions.
The Nephrology Examiners (NNCC)
The Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission has the purpose to improve the quality of nephrology nursing care. They do this through the certification program they developed, which ensures that all necessary and legal activities are followed and implemented.
The highest standards in nephrology nursing practice are upheld. Patient safety is foremost, and the quality of care is of the utmost importance. The education and training of Hemodialysis Technicians is regularly reviewed and updated, assuring competency in the latest scientific procedures and practices.
CCHT Certification Examinations
The exam for this certificate evaluates four areas of learning in hemodialysis technology:
The CCHT examination can be taken with paper and pencil or with the computer. Both tests have an allowed time of three hours and contain 150 questions. To pass, the individual is required to have at least 70 to 75% correct answers.
Before taking the exam, it is expected that the applicant will prepare himself or herself for the test. It’s a good idea to take the practice test provided online at the NNCC website. This will give the applicant a good idea of the areas addressed.
Study prior to the exam, of course, is expected. You should also have a free schedule so nothing will interrupt or distract you while taking this important test.
Tools to help you prepare for the CCHT examination are few and far between, but a useful resource to assist in CCHT test prep efforts can be found by following the links below.
- CCHT Exam Secrets Study Guide
- This CCHT exam study guide includes:
- CCHT test taking strategies
- Comprehensive sections, covering everything from Acid-Base Balance to Uremic Neuropathy
- CCHT practice test questions
- CCHT Exam Flashcard Study System
- Benefits of the flashcard system include:
- Engage more of your senses in the learning process
- Covers the major content areas on the exam, including in depth explanations
- Cards are portable, making it easy for you to grab a few and study while waiting for the bus or the doctor
Certification will be effective for 3 years from the last day of the month in which you passed the exam. It must be renewed every 3 years. (See below under Recertification.)
The eligibility requirements for this exam are the following:
- A high school diploma or the equivalent GED (the name on the diploma must match the applicant’s name or proof presented of name change)
- Proof of completion of a training program for clinical Hemodialysis Technicians which included classroom instruction as well as supervised clinical experience
- Proof of hours spent in hands-on patient care with the name of the facility (as part of above requirement)
- If employed as a clinical Hemodialysis Technician in the preceding 18 months, the name of the employer must be provided (a minimum of 6 months or 1,000 hours of clinical experience is recommended but not required)
- Payment of examination fee ($350)
An ANNA (American Nephrology Nurses’ Association) chapter or an ESRD (End Stage Renal Disease) Facility must host the exam. A hosting fee of $250 must be paid to NNCC for the exam hosting and should accompany the application. The host will secure a location and provide the address.
For CCHT recertification, 3000 work hours as a dialysis patient tech is required, or you can earn 30 hours of continued education in the hemodialysis field. The recertification fee is $325. You will find an application online on the NNCC website. You will be charged a late fee if your certification expires before applying for the recertification exam.
There are a number of continuing education programs which you can take advantage of. These include:
- Nephrology-specific nursing programs
- American Nephrology Nurses Association
- Independent study programs
You should retain all your certificates, filing them safely, so you can demonstrate the requirements have been met.
As a Certified Clinical Hemodialysis Technician, you will open doors for a future filled with satisfying work in the field of nephrology, providing quality care for those in need. There is nothing quite as fulfilling as helping others to lead more productive and normal lives.
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