Dialysis technicians, also known as patient care technicians, assist patients who are undergoing a four-hour dialysis and ensure a safe and effective procedure for them by following strict protocols.
Dialysis Technician: Career Definition
The major responsibilities of dialysis technicians include monitoring and adjusting fluid removal rate based on the patient’s vital signs, as well as reducing the risk of infection by sterilizing and handling the necessary equipment properly. They also operate and maintain the equipment used in the dialysis treatment. Dialysis technicians are expected to fill several functions as they need to repair and maintain the equipment, monitor the water treatment, reprocessing the dialyzer, monitoring vascular access, and providing direct patient care. It is their job to help the patients when they encounter mental or physical concerns before, during or after their dialysis.
Specific Duties of Dialysis Technician
Dialysis technicians are expected to fulfill the following duties:
- Set up and operate the dialysis equipment, called the hemodialysis machine, to treat the patients who suffer from kidney failure.
- Attach dialyzer and the necessary tubes to the machine.
- Mix dialysate following a set formula.
- Prepare dialyzer with heparinized or saline solution to prepare the equipment for treatment.
- Move patient to dialysis room and instruct patient to sit on the lounge chair on the machine.
- Record the predialysis weight, blood pressure, temperature, respiration rate, and pulse rate of the patient.
- Educate the patient about what happens during the procedure and how the hemodialysis machine operates to help lessen their anxiety.
- Sanitize the area of access for the machine.
- Hook the hemodialysis machine to the patient’s catheter site or forearm to start the blood circulation through the machine.
- Check equipment settings, including conductivity, pressures, and temperature, to comply with the safety standards.
- Start blood flow pump at the rate set for the patient.
- Inspect arterial and venous pressures as registered on the machine to keep the pressures within safe limits.
- Calculate the necessary fluid removal or replacement during the procedure.
- Observe the patient for any adverse reaction and check the machine for possible malfunction.
- Manufacture parts of the machine, such as tubing, cannulas, catheters, fittings, and connectors, using handtools.
Check also dialysis technician educational requirements and training.
Other Responsibilities of Dialysis Technician
Dialysis technicians are an integral part of the medical care team since they are hands-on with their patients. They spend a lot of time with the patients that it is also their responsibility to inform the nurse about the physical and emotional concerns of the patients and listen to the nurse’s advice to address these concerns. Dialysis technicians also need good bedside manner, willingness to explain to the patient what the treatment will do and how they should take care of themselves, and a strong commitment to keep the patient’s condition confidential. It is important that these technicians be able to guide the patient through dialysis.