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Hemodialysis Patient Care Technician

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Field description

The chronic hemodialysis setting is a highly invasive and specialized patient care environment. Hemodialysis technicians work together with registered nurses (RN) and licensed practical nurses (LPN) to provide direct patient care to patients undergoing chronic hemodialysis treatment due to renal failure.

Hemodialysis removes waste products, such as urea and potassium, from the blood. During hemodialysis, the blood is removed from the patient's body, cycled through an artificial kidney, and then the blood is returned to the patient. The hemodialysis technician initiates hemodialysis treatment either by inserting a needle into the patient's blood vessel or by attaching the hemodialysis tubing to a catheter in the patient's chest. The hemodialysis technician also discontinues treatment, monitors patient status and vital signs, obtains blood samples, and documents cares provided. The technician is responsible for equipment management, including programming, cleaning and monitoring the hemodialysis machines. The technician must also have an in-depth understanding of the facility's water treatment system and monitors this system as part of patient safety.

Career opportunities

Many dialysis facilities across the United States employ dialysis technicians or patient care technicians, to provide the majority of direct patient care. This, combined with the increasing number of people with chronic kidney disease and renal failure, results in an ever-increasing need for hemodialysis technicians.

Earning potential

Annual salaries for hemodialysis technicians range from $29,800.00 to $40,800.00.

Professional organizations

Visit the following Web site to learn more about hemodialysis:

  • ART025569