Dialysis Assistants help patients with kidney failure or renal disease. These skilled professionals purify a patient’s blood through dialysis equipment, which is designed to filter waste or excess water from human body. Their responsibilities include taking blood pressure of patients, checking their weight, administering local anesthesia, maintaining patient records, calculating fluid removal rate, measuring blood flow rate, preparing the water solution, conducting water testing. maintaining dialysis equipment, reporting the findings to concerned nurses and physicians etc. In addition, they handle administrative tasks as well as act as a link between patients and the service providers during and after dialysis treatments.
Dialysis Assistants are employed at varieties of health care settings such as public and private hospitals, clinics, dialysis centers, kidney hospital, outpatient centers, home health care agencies, long-term care facilities etc. They work full time and may require working at night, weekend, or holiday schedules.
To qualify for the position of a Dialysis Assistant, the applicants need to hold a high school diploma or GED equivalent. Additionally, the students need to complete a state approved dialysis technician training program from a community college, technical school, or hospital. The training program can be completed in less than a year. The course work includes hemodialysis machine operation, vascular access, patient care, ethics, medical terminology, drug overdose, plasmaphoresis etc. Students may also acquire clinical training through job-training programs.
Certification and Licensure
Since a Dialysis Assistants requires to be licensed in many states, the aspiring candidates need to earn exam-based licensure. These professionals can obtain certification from the Board of Nephrology Examiners Nursing and Technology (BONENT) or the National Nephrology Certification Organization (NNCO).
In addition to clinical knowledge, Dialysis Assistants possess various skills, such as ability to monitor a patient’s vital signs, and keeping an eye out for complications; high level of attention to detail; ability to work for long duration in standing position; empathy and compassion towards patients; ability to work under pressure situation; good at dexterity; ability to operate complex equipment; pleasant communication and interpersonal skills; computer skills etc.
Job Outlook and Salary
The job outlook for a Dialysis Assistant remains excellent across the USA. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the growth rate for job opportunities in this profession may rise 29% during 2012-2022. The average annual salary of a Dialysis Assistant was $35,600 in 2014.