Dialysis technicians are required to be certified and licensed.  You will have to pass the dialysis licensing exam for the state in which you plan to work. Check your local state for dialysis technician certification and testing programs and your states specific requirements. Earning your certification makes you eligible for work immediately.

A dialysis certification exam is typically multiple choice questions and covers topics such as patient care, machine technology, water treatment, dialyzer reprocessing and education and personal development.  Dialysis technicians generally require continuing education to renew their dialysis certification

Three organizations offer dialysis technician certification examinations. These are the Board of Nephrology Examiners Nursing and Technology (BONENT),  the Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission (NNCC) and the National Nephrology Certification Organization (NNCO).

The BONENT Certified Hemodialysis Technologist/Technician examination measures technical proficiency in certain skills and general areas of knowledge. The examination tests the following five major domains of practice and tasks:

  • Patient Care                                                  45%
  • Machine Technology                                     12%
  • Water Treatment                                           15%
  • Infection Control                                           18%
  • Education and Professional Development   10%
  • TOTAL                                                          100%

The NNCC offers several certifications for those involved in nephrology. These include certifications for RNs, Nurse Practioners, Licensed Practical Nurses and the dialysis technician.  For dialysis technicians, the NNCC offers two different certification programs; the CCHT for all dialysis technicians, and the CCHT-A for experienced dialysis technicians functioning in varied roles in patient care.  The NNCC dialysis technician certification requirements include:

  •  a high school diploma or equivalent
  • verified completion of a training program for clinical hemodialysis technicians that includes both classroom instruction and supervised clinical experience
  • verified hours of clinical, hands-on experience supervised by an RN
  • if employed as a clinical hemodialysis technician within the last eighteen (18) months he/she must provide the name of the employer
  • completion of the exam

According to the NNCC, the CCHT exam contains 150 questions and must be completed in 180 minutes.  it tests the following dialysis practice areas:

  • Clinical                          48-52%
  • Technical                       21-25%
  • Environment                 13-17%
  • Role Responsibilities     10-14%

The NNCO offers certification examinations in three areas:

  • Certification Examination in Biomedical Nephrology Technology
  • Certification Examination in Clinical Nephrology Technology
  • Certification Examination for Dialysis Water Specialists 

According to the NNCO the eligibility to take the Certification Examination in Clinical Nephrology Technology is as follows:

  • Have a minimum of a high school diploma or the equivalent OR four years of full time experience in the field of nephrology technology
  • Completion of a one year nephrology technology training program with clinical experience and/or completion of a combination nephrology technology training program of less than 1 year and work experience equivalent to 1 year
  • Completion and filing of an Application for the Certification Examinations in Nephrology Technology
  • Payment of required fee

The content of the NNCO practice exam in Clinical Nephrology Technology is instructive.  Acording to the NNCO the content is as follows:
Principles of Dialysis

  • Care of the Patient with Kidney Failure
  • Dialysis Procedures and Documentation
  • Complications of Dialysis
  • Water Treatment and Dialysate Preparation
  • Infection Control and Safety
  • Dialyzer Reprocessing
Information on this page summarized from:
(1)   Board of Nephrology Examination For Nurses and Technicians, http://www.bonent.org/
(2)   Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission, http://www.nncc-exam.org/cgi-bin/WebObjects/NNCCMain
(3)   National Nephrology Certification Organization,  http://nnco.nbccc.net.

This site is intended only for informational purposes and is not a substitute for professional guidance.
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