Dialysis technicians are health care professionals specializing in providing dialysis treatment to patients suffering from acute or chronic renal failure. They are trained specialists in the operation and maintenance of dialysis machines that act as external kidneys to remove a patient’s blood waste. Anyone who aims to become a successful dialysis technician must prepare an exceptional resume using the following guide.
Let’s start by reviewing the three resume formats, one of which you’ll choose to write your resume:
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Job duties of a dialysis technician
The dialysis technician role holds various responsibilities like performing treatments, maintaining the equipment and managing patient records. Other regular duties of a dialysis technician include:
Preparing the hemodialysis machine consisting of tubes, a dialyzer, a blood pump and the medical solution.
Ensuring safety standards of RO water required for the dialysis solution before using the machine.
Recording patient vitals such as blood pressure, temperature, pulse rate, respiration rate and weight before and after dialysis.
Conducting dialysis treatment by connecting the catheters at the appropriate site to enable the blood flow through the dialyzer.
Monitoring the blood flow pump and fluid removal rates, making adjustments if necessary.
Watching over the patient and checking the temperature and pressure settings of the equipment during the treatment to ensure safety.
Cleaning and sterilizing the dialysis machine and other areas after each use.
Taking care of a patient’s physical and emotional needs before, after and during the dialysis process.
Working with registered nurses to care for the patients and reporting patient information accurately.
Dialysis technician median salaries
According to PayScale, the median salary of a dialysis technician in the United States is $43,571 per year as of May 2021. The compensation may be higher or lower based on the employee’s years of experience and extent of performance.
Top skills for dialysis technicians
Dialysis technicians must have basic nursing skills to take care of patients, monitor their vitals and assess complications. They must, however, focus primarily on performing dialysis treatment and managing their patient’s records.
These are some of the skills that make an exceptional dialysis technician:
- Meticulous patient care A dialysis technician must clearly understand the purpose of dialysis for patients in temporary or permanent renal failure to perform the treatment. They must ensure the patient's comfort and tailor the dialysis treatment to their needs. Good hand-eye coordination is quite significant for technicians to guarantee a safe treatment.
- Equipment mastery The dialysis treatment involves the use of a hemodialysis machine to remove waste from the patient’s blood. A dialysis technician must be a trained expert who can prepare and operate the device accurately. During the procedure, they constantly monitor the temperature of the dialysate solution, blood pump speed and pressure.
- Patient record management A professional dialysis technician must maintain every patient’s record and report to senior staff. Before and after the dialysis treatment, they should note the patient's weight and vitals and input the information into the database. During their tenures, technicians are encouraged to learn electronic records management to aid in more organized and efficient record-keeping.
- Knowledge of OSHA and HIPAA regulations Following the workplace safety standards is crucial for a dialysis technician to avoid health hazards. Health care technicians should be aware of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations involving safe equipment handling and preventing chemical threats, workplace violence and infectious diseases. Likewise, professionals must follow the HIPAA law which ensures doctor/patient confidentiality or face legal consequences.
- Critical thinking A dialysis technician must be alert to identify complications due to dialysis treatment, such as fluid overload, infection and electrolyte abnormalities. Taking quick action when the monitor alarm in the dialysis machine goes off and reporting it to the nurses or doctors is part of the job.
- Amiable interpersonal skills Having to deal with many patients every day, a dialysis technician must be friendly and communicate clearly. They explain to patients the health care guidelines and interact amiably during the treatment to provide emotional support. This aids not only in the patient’s welfare but also with the treatment plans laid out by registered nurses and nephrologists.
Educational requirements for dialysis technicians
DegreeTo become a dialysis technician, you must complete a bachelor's degree in nursing or directly enter into the dialysis technician program offered by community colleges. A high school diploma or a General Educational Development (GED) score is needed to qualify for these courses in public or private universities and technical training colleges.
If you are interested in receiving a more formal education or in continuing your career in health care as a nurse, universities like Long Island University, Wright University and the University of Michigan offer degrees in nursing. If, on the other hand, you want to focus on becoming a technician, Dorsey College, American College of Health & Sciences, Blue Cliff College and Midwestern Career College offer a more targeted program.
CertificationsFor dialysis technicians, it is mandatory to obtain a Certified Hemodialysis Technician (CHT) or Certified Clinical Hemodialysis Technician (CCHT) certificate specific to each state. Prospective technicians can attain this certificate through the Board of Nephrology Examiners Nursing and Technology (BONENT), National Nephrology Certification Organization (NNCO) or Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission (NNCC).
If you feel you require more preparation for these exams, the National Association of Nephrology Technicians/Technologists (NANT) offers comprehensive support material to improve your competency.
You are also required to receive continuing education hours every two to four years, depending on state requirements. Contact your state’s board to learn more about certification requirements and renewal processes.
Dialysis technician resume-writing tips
If you aspire to start your career as a dialysis technician, writing an exceptional resume is very important.
These are some tips you can follow to make your resume stand out:
- Feature your training and certifications. This job is all about formal education. The amount of training and certifications a person has completed demonstrate their proficiency in the field. Make sure to mention all certifications you have achieved. Constant learning is required to maintain the license, so highlighting training is a plus.
- Emphasize your nursing knowledge. Include situations in which you managed electronic health records, monitored vital signs and supported patients with physical weakness. The dialysis technicians provide complete care to the patients. Make sure to highlight your adherence to safety standards and HIPAA compliance.
- Showcase achievements. Don't just list your job duties; write achievements and accolades you received in your positions. An example is the number of patients you treated per day or the patient satisfaction rate.
- Use bullet points. Avoid paragraphs. Use lists and points to mention your essential skills and experience in previous jobs. Make sure to add relevant knowledge and pay attention to the keywords in the job description. Include these keywords in your resume so it gets past the applicant tracking systems (ATS).
- Check spelling and grammar. On completing your resume, use tools such as Grammarly to check grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, tone and punctuation. Proofread your resume after correcting the mistakes and before sending it to the recruiter.
Is prior experience necessary for a dialysis technician?
most recruiters look for candidates with at least one year of clinical experience. The best way to gain experience is by working as an intern or assistant technician after your education.
Can we include career breaks in the resume?
If the career break is longer than three months, mention the reason for the gap in a cover letter and add any volunteering or training experiences you took part in.
How long does it take to get trained as a dialysis technician?
The diploma course for a dialysis technician takes 12 to 18 months to complete and includes laboratory and clinical training to perform dialysis treatment with the equipment.