A brief summary of dialysis technician schools and dialysis technician training is provided here.  Proper dialysis technician training helps you understand and prepare for the different aspects of your career in dialysis.  If you desire a career as a dialysis technician,  you must have a minimum of a high school diploma and pass a physical and criminal background check.  Some previous background in mathematics and the sciences is helpful.

To pursue a dialysis technician career requires a combination of coursework and on-the-job training. You must attend a dialysis technician school and complete an accredited dialysis technician diploma or certificate program and pass a license exam. Requirements for certification vary from state to state.  Some dialysis technician programs have a prerequisite. For example, they may require applicants to be be certified in a medical field such as a certified  nurses aide.  Some may also require certain high school or college classes in certain sciences such as mathematics, biology or chemistry.

Dialysis technician school options include on- the-job training, employer sponsored dialysis schools, or vocational and technical schools, community colleges and online programs .  Online dialysis technician schools offer programs but still require practical hands-on clinical training at a dialysis facility.    For more information on online dialysis technician classes see the Online Dialysis Technician Classes page on this site.  The National Council for Education Statistics listed 58 undergraduate programs in dialysis technician training  in 2016.

Typically either a dialysis technician certificate or a dialysis technician diploma is offered.  Dialysis technician certificate programs typically require 50 credit hours of study.  These programs may be offered not only during the day but also during the evening.  Dialysis technician diploma programs may take up to a year or more to complete.

These programs generally require a combination of classroom lectures, labs and hands-on supervised clinical internships.  Completion of these programs generally means you can sit for the CHT or CCHT exam.  Typical courses may include principles of dialysis treatment, renal system anatomy and failure complications, nephrology, infectious diseases and aseptic techniques. Courses may also include vital signs monitoring, physical and emotional needs of dialysis patients and physiology.  Both certificate and diploma options generally require hands-on supervised clinical training. For a more complete listing of typical dialysis technician classes pleas visit the Dialysis Technician Classes page on this site.

There are some factors that may be helpful when considering choosing schools with dialysis programs: 

  • Is the program accredited by either the Board of Nephrology Examiners Nursing and Technology (BONENT), the Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission (NNCC) or the National Nephrology Certification Organization (NNCO)?  These organizations offer certification exams which are required in some states. For more information on certification please visit the Dialysis Technician Certification page on this site.
  • What are the program prerequisites?
  • Where is the location of the school?
  • Can I take some of the courses online? Which ones?
  • How many of the students pass the required certification exams?
  • What is the schools job placement rate after completion?   What portion of the training is classroom, lab and hands-on training.
Information on this page summarized from:
(1)Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-and-clinical-laboratory-technologists-and-technicians.htm
(2) Renal Career Fact Sheet, National Kidney Foundation,https://www.kidney.org/professionals/CNNT/techcnnt
(32)  Wikipedia contributors, "Dialysis," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia,http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Dialysis&oldid=456618039
(4) Image credit dialysis equipment. Licensed from Fotolia LLC.

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