Clinical Hemodialysis Technician
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The chronic hemodialysis setting is a highly invasive and specialized patient care environment. Hemodialysis technicians work together with registered nurses (R.N.s) and licensed practical nurses (L.P.N.s) to provide direct patient care to people undergoing chronic hemodialysis treatment due to renal failure.
Hemodialysis removes waste products, such as urea and potassium, from the blood. During hemodialysis, blood is removed from the patient's body, cycled through an artificial kidney, and then returned to the patient.
The hemodialysis technician initiates hemodialysis treatment either by inserting a needle into a 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 the care 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.
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.
Annual salaries for hemodialysis technicians range from $29,800 to $46,300.