What does a Dialysis Technician do?

Nat Robinson
Nat Robinson
A dialysis machine.
A dialysis machine.

A dialysis technician is a person who has been trained to administer dialysis to patients with different types of kidney diseases. If a person has or is in the beginning stages of kidney failure, dialysis may be given to do the work the kidneys are no longer able to. One of the main jobs of the kidneys is to remove excess waste from the blood. In the event that the kidneys are damaged, a dialysis machine may be used to carry out this task. Generally, a dialysis technician is the person who operates the dialysis equipment and monitors the patient during the course of the treatment.

One of the main jobs of the kidneys is to remove excess waste from the blood.
One of the main jobs of the kidneys is to remove excess waste from the blood.

Possibly, the biggest part of being a dialysis technician is running the dialysis equipment. The equipment is what makes receiving this kind of treatment possible. Dialysis technicians are generally the people responsible for ensuring equipment is kept clean and running efficiently. As many different people will be using the machine, the technician will have to ensure it remains sterile at all times. He or she may also periodically run tests on the machine to guarantee it is functioning properly.

Dialysis technicians perform two kinds of dialysis on patients: hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.
Dialysis technicians perform two kinds of dialysis on patients: hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.

To start his or her work day, a dialysis technician may begin by preparing patients for treatment. The technician may meet with patients upon checking in and take their blood pressure, oxygen levels and temperature. This may be done to get a general view of the person's status prior to administering dialysis. The patient may be weighed by the technician as well. After the preliminaries are accomplished, the technician may then hook the patient up to the necessary devices to begin administering dialysis.

Running the dialysis equipment is the biggest part of a dialysis technician's job.
Running the dialysis equipment is the biggest part of a dialysis technician's job.

During the course of treatment, a dialysis technician will closely monitor patients. He or she will keep a close watch to ensure the patient is tolerating the dialysis well. The technician may check the patient's blood pressure and oxygen and ask the patient how he or she is feeling frequently. He or she will also keep a close eye on the dialysis machine to ensure it is working properly. Monitoring the machine is also important in case something on the machine needs to be adjusted.

After the dialysis is complete, the technician will generally monitor the patient for a certain amount of time. This may be done to confirm there are no adverse reactions to the treatment. The technician will also generally take the patient's vital signs again before he or she is discharged for home. To become a dialysis technician, a person will need to graduate from high school. Most regions will also require that he or she enter a program at an accredited institution of higher learning and obtain dialysis certification.

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    • A dialysis machine.
      A dialysis machine.
    • One of the main jobs of the kidneys is to remove excess waste from the blood.
      One of the main jobs of the kidneys is to remove excess waste from the blood.
    • Dialysis technicians perform two kinds of dialysis on patients: hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.
      Dialysis technicians perform two kinds of dialysis on patients: hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.
    • Running the dialysis equipment is the biggest part of a dialysis technician's job.
      Running the dialysis equipment is the biggest part of a dialysis technician's job.