Dialysis Assistant: Job Description & Requirements
Dialysis is a medical procedure that helps patients with reduced or impaired kidney function eliminate toxic waste and excessive fluids from their bodies. A Dialysis Assistant operates a dialysis machine that is responsible for treating hemmodialysis and drug overdoses. These Assistants design protocols and instruct patients in the principals and practices of dialysis.
Career Definition of a Dialysis Assistant
A Dialysis Assistant, or a dialysis technician, is responsible for operating dialysis machines, which are designed to filter waste, excess water, and salt from a person's body. These elements in the blood cause kidneys to fail or become damaged. Dialysis Assistants help patients before, during, and after dialysis treatments.
How to Become a Dialysis Assistant
Education Required for a Dialysis Assistant
According to the National Kidney Foundation, www.kidney.org, a Dialysis Assistant must have a high school diploma or the equivalent. Training programs can be found at community colleges, vocational schools, and hospitals, and these programs can last anywhere from 12 weeks to one year. Within these programs, you gain training in dialysis machine operation, drug overdose, emodialysis, and plasmaphoresis. Dialysis Assistants must also become nationally certified, and need to keep up-to-date with the latest procedures and technology.
Skills Required for a Career as Dialysis Assistant
A career in this field requires clinical skills, the ability to monitor a patient's vital signs, and keeping an eye out for complications. It is also essential to be CPR certified and prepared to handle any emergency situations. Many patients who receive dialysis treatments do so for chronic disorders and Dialysis Assistants must have excellent people skills in order to build up a rapport with patients they may see on a daily or weekly basis. Interpersonal skills are also needed to work effectively with doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals.
Economic and Career Outlook for Dialysis Assistant
Dialysis Assistants can find employment in hospitals, home dialysis programs, or out-patient facilities. According to Salary.com, the median income for a Renal Dialysis Technician was about $35,380 per year as of September 2013. Most positions offer health benefits, vacation, and sick leave, which should be factored into the rate of compensation.
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