In an ideal world there would be no need for the job description “dialysis technician” to even exist but that is not the case and the dialysis technician plays a crucial part in keeping chronically ill kidney patients alive.
Those patients who are sent to dialysis are individuals whose kidneys are simply incapable of functioning correctly. Since the damaged kidneys can no longer filter waste properly (their primary function) without proper care these patients would die. Dialysis removes the waste from the patient’s body artificially.
There are actually two different types of dialysis that a patient can undergo. Hemodialysis involves a patient being hooked up to a machine through which their blood is filtered, removing the dangerous waste before the ‘cleaned” blood is returned to the body. Peritoneal Dialysis involves using the abdominal cavity and a tubing system to remove waste.
What do Dialysis Technicians Do Every day?
Within the field there are actually a couple of different types of dialysis technician. Clinical dialysis technicians focus on actual patient care, the setting up of the equipment before a patient arrives, helping that patient prep for dialysis and then monitoring them constantly as the process proceeds. Others focus on educating the patient and their families and caregivers how to use home dialysis equipment, which is often a patient preference if such a thing is at all possible.
Where do Dialysis Technicians Work?
Many dialysis techs find work at specialist dialysis centers, where they may see the same patients every few days for several years. Others work in hospital based dialysis units, where they are often dealing with kidney patients whose illnesses are newly diagnosed so these techs have to be prepared to get more involved in patient education.
As the number of people who opt for home dialysis increases the demand for techs to go out to these homes on a regular basis to check that all is proceeding well is on the rise. These dialysis technicians are also likely to find themselves spending more time educating patients as well as providing emotional support for caregivers, as in the beginning home dialysis can be a daunting prospect for all involved.