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The Mayo School of Health Sciences Hemodialysis Patient Care Technician (HPCT) Program prepares individuals for professional practice in hemodialysis. During the four-month program, learning experiences are provided to teach the student:

  • Basic Hemodialysis Principles
  • Use of hemodialysis equipment
  • Composition of dialysis substances
  • Infection control
  • Hemodialysis access
  • Water treatment

During the program you may complete rotations at any of the following clinical sites:

  • Albert Lea, Minn.
  • Decorah, Iowa
  • Fairmont, Minn.
  • Onalaska, Wis.
  • Owatonna, Minn.
  • Rochester, Minn.
  • Wabasha, Minn.

Course Modules and Descriptions
During the HCPT program, students will participate in a range of courses and learning experiences. In an effort to meet the needs of the adult learners, many of the learning modules will be available on-line. The course modules include the following:

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
The hemodialysis patient care technician program (HPCT) utilizes Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs as its framework. This module teaches students to consistently monitor a client's physiological, safety, love/belonging, esteem and self-actualization needs as part of providing appropriate care.

Therapeutic Communication
This module teaches students to use therapeutic communication techniques that are age appropriate and culturally sensitive.

Ethical and Legal Issues
This module helps students learn to care for the patient while always practicing high standards of legal and ethical practices and behaviors as these standards relate to patient dignity, privacy and confidentiality.

General Medical Procedures and Terminology
This module teaches students the appropriate medical terminology and general medical procedures necessary to provide safe and appropriate cares. Topics include cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), hand washing and vital signs measurement.

Basic Elements of Renal Anatomy and Physiology of the Body
This module teaches students about homeostasis, interrelationships between body systems and how disease processes modulate patient care needs.

Elements of Renal Disease
In this module, students learn about homeostasis and disease processes of the renal system and how these factors modulate patient care. Diseases include diabetes, hypertension, glomerulonephritis, lupus, polycystic kidney disease and drug aftereffects.

Addressing Psychological Aspects of Chronic Illness
During this module, the student should learn to understand and apply basic principles of psychology when evaluating and caring for patients who have chronic kidney disease.

Pharmacy and Drug Dose Calculation
This module discusses common medications for the hemodialysis patient, adverse side effects of the medications and administration basics as directed by dialysis physicians and registered nurses.

This module demonstrates respect, compassion and integrity during the care of all Mayo patients.

This module focuses on principles that will help students work appropriately as part of the hemodialysis team, including respect and personal responsibility.

Time Management Skills
This module focuses on prioritization of patient care activities and unit functions based on the needs of the patient and other staff.

Hemodialysis Devices
This module focuses on the use of hemodialysis machines, dialyzers, equipment and how to appropriately intervene and troubleshoot patient care issues that arise.

Infection Control Principles
In this module, students learn to practice infection control principles that prevent transmission of viruses and bacteria in the hemodialysis setting. Techniques include using aseptic methods when handling and disinfecting equipment, demonstrating proper hand hygiene and demonstrating the body fluids spill disinfection procedure.

Hemodialysis Accesses
In this module, students will learn best practice guidelines to promote viability of the hemodialysis patient's vascular access.

Patient Monitoring
This module teaches students to identify patient-specific hemodynamic parameters and intervene as indicated to prevent unwanted effects of the hemodialysis treatment.

Water Treatment
In this module, students learn to distinguish among water system components and their impact on the health of the hemodialysis patient. Techniques include performing safety checks to test water quality, locating the components of the hemodialysis center's water treatment system, obtaining water samples for cultures and participating in disinfection of the water system.

Safety Precautions and Procedures
In this module, students will learn to provide for the safety of patients and staff in daily activities and emergency situations related to equipment, emergency evacuation, emergency termination of dialysis, patient transfer, sharp instrument precaution and recognizing early signs of hemodialysis complication.

Hemodialysis Principles
This module will ensure that students are proficient in the scientific principles used in hemodialysis, including osmosis diffusion, ultrafiltration and fluid dynamics.

Grading or Evaluation
Mayo School of Health Sciences uses evaluative tools that include:

  • Written examination
  • Demonstration of skills
  • Self-assessment exercises
  • Faculty reviews

The school's system of evaluation provides students and faculty with a comprehensive look at individual performance, allowing students who are experiencing academic difficulty to be directed to appropriate support resources.

Curriculum Enhancements
Mayo School of Health Sciences is committed to developing and maintaining the very best education programs. Changes may be made to the curriculum and other aspects of this program as necessary to assure the highest quality training.

  • ART167803