How do I Become a Dialysis Technician?

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  • Written By: D. Jeffress
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 13 November 2018
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Dialysis technicians work at hospitals and specialty centers, caring for patients who have serious kidney problems. They operate dialysis machines that extract, filter, and replace blood, temporarily taking over the function of failing kidneys. The requirements to become a dialysis technician vary between regions and countries, but most professionals need to possess high school diplomas and receive training either on-the-job or at technical schools. In addition, a person who wants to become a dialysis technician may need to pass a regional licensing exam to ensure he or she is fully prepared for the job.

An individual who believes that he or she wants to become a dialysis technician can begin preparing for the job while still in high school. A student can benefit greatly by taking advanced courses in biology, health, and human anatomy. Such classes provide a fundamental understanding of how the kidneys and circulatory system work. Many students pursue volunteer or entry-level medical aide positions at local hospitals and clinics to gain practical health-care experience.

A high school diploma is sufficient to become a dialysis technician in some regions. An individual should investigate specific requirements in his or her area to determine if additional education is necessary. Information can usually be obtained by contacting hospital administrative professionals or searching for requirements on government hospital standards Web sites. If further training is needed, a person can look into accredited programs at community colleges, technical schools, and specialized allied health centers.


Once enrolled in a dialysis technician program, a student can expect to attend lectures and receive hands-on training with actual dialysis machines. Among other important topics, a student learns about common medical terminology, ethics, hospital procedures, and emergency first aid. Many schools offer career placement services to help students find entry-level positions upon graduation.

An individual may need to take a regional licensing exam before he or she can officially become a dialysis technician. Most exams are written or computer-based and take up to three hours to complete. Even if licensure is not required, a person may decide to take a voluntary certification exam offered by a national organization to improve his or her credentials and chances of finding full-time work. With the appropriate credentials, a new professional can begin formal, on-the-job training with experienced technicians and nurses. A new technician who excels during training usually gets the chance to start working independently within the first few weeks of employment.



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