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Dialysis Tech Training

By an allied health world contributing writer

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Steps to Become a Dialysis Tech

The following are the most direct steps to becoming a dialysis tech.

  1. Job shadow techs working in a dialysis unit to learn more about the field.
  2. Perhaps earn a nursing certificate as an LPN or RN. This is not a mandatory requirement.
  3. Take a course on phlebotomy. This is not a mandatory requirement either, but certainly makes doing the job of a dialysis tech easier.
  4. Enroll in a dialysis tech training program or certificate program.
  5. Maintain basic life support certification. Having training or a certificate in phlebotomy is also helpful in this field.
  6. Sit for a dialysis certification exam offered through The Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission (NNCC), the Board of Nephrology Examiners Nursing and Technology (BONENT), or The National Nephrology Certification Organization (NNCO).
  7. Find a job as a dialysis tech.
  8. Maintain the necessary continuing education units for certification credential.

What type of training is required for dialysis techs?

The National Association of Nephrology Technicians/Technologists (NANT) strongly encourages formal dialysis technician training in order to become a professional in this field. However, sometimes dialysis technicians are trained on the job. To work in a dialysis tech role, most jobs require basic life support certification. Employers also prefer hiring dialysis techs with nursing certificates and experience in phlebotomy (drawing blood).

Formal dialysis technician training programs generally can be completed in the course of a year to 18 months. Typically courses included in dialysis programs are anatomy of the rental system, dialysis procedures and instruments, patient care, and nephrology (study of kidney disease), to name a few.

What is the history of this profession?

The National Association of Nephrology Technicians/Technologists (NANT) was founded in 1983 by 15 individuals in Philadelphia. The goal of the organization was to promote the efficient, safe delivery of dialysis to patients and also be recognized as an integral part of the healthcare field. Before the NANT was formed, dialysis techs were members of the American Association of Nephrology Nurses and Technicians (AANNT). However, the leadership of this organization decided in 1982 to recognize nephrology nursing as a formal specialty. The rules of the organization then mandated that all voting members be nurses. Since dialysis techs could no longer vote, they decided to form their own separate organization.

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