Arkansas Dialysis Technician Requirements

The Arkansas Department of Health is the agency responsible for the oversight of End-Stage Renal Disease Centers and outlining the requirements to work in these facilities. Arkansas state law requires you to be a certified perfusionist in order to perform extracorporeal circulation (circulating the blood outside of the body). Therefore, in addition to meeting the federal requirements laid out by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) you must also become a certified perfusionist to meet Arkansas dialysis technician requirements.

To become a perfusionist the state of Arkansas requires the following:

1. All new applicants for a perfusionist license shall submit a signed application to the Department for consideration; and

2. Shall meet the requirements of the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion (ABCP) for Certification and be certified by the ABCP.

 

The ABCP requirements are explained in detail on their site but boil down to passing an exam composed of two parts, the Perfusion Basic Science Examination (PBSE), which has 220 multiple choice questions, and the  Clinical Application in Perfusion Examination (CAPE), which has 200 – 230 multiple choice questions. Part I covers perfusion science basics and Part II presents clinical scenarios.

Below is an excerpt from the Conditions for Coverage instruction by CMS listing the requirements to be a certified hemodialysis technician (CHT) or patient care dialysis technician (PCT). This national requirement was put in effect in 2008:

Standard: Patient care dialysis technicians.

Patient care dialysis technicians must—

(1) Meet all applicable State requirements for education, training, credentialing, competency, standards of practice, certification, and licensure in the State in which he or she is employed as a dialysis technician; and

(2) Have a high school diploma or equivalency;

(3) Have completed a training program that is approved by the medical director and governing body, under the direction of a registered nurse, focused on the operation of kidney dialysis equipment and machines, providing direct patient care, and communication and interpersonal skills, including patient sensitivity training and care of difficult patients. The training program must include the following subjects:

(i) Principles of dialysis.

(ii) Care of patients with kidney failure, including interpersonal skills.

(iii) Dialysis procedures and documentation, including initiation, proper cannulation techniques, monitoring, and termination of dialysis.

(iv) Possible complications of dialysis.

(v) Water treatment and dialysate preparation.

(vi) Infection control.

(vii) Safety.

(viii) Dialyzer reprocessing, if applicable.

(4) Be certified under a State certification program or a national commercially available certification program, as follows—

(i) For newly employed patient care technicians, within 18 months of being hired as a dialysis patient care technician; or

(ii) For patient care technicians employed on October 14, 2008, within 18 months after such date.

By meeting these requirements you can work in a dialysis center in the state of Arkansas. Exact job description is designated by the dialysis center and should be promulgated in writing.

To meet the requirements of paragraph 4 and be “certified under a State certification program or a national commercially available certification program” Arkansas has opted to accept national certification as opposed to developing their own state program. Therefore, you must pass an exam administered by one of the following organizations to become certified as a dialysis technician:

1. Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission (NNCC)

Phone number: (888) 884-6622

2. Board of Nephrology Examiners for Nursing and Technology (BONENT)

Phone number: (202) 462-1252

3. National Nephrology Certification Organization (NNCO)

Phone number: (212) 356-0660

To prepare for the exam and meet the training requirements in paragraph 3 of the CMS instruction several online and campus based schools in Arkansas offer programs with a dialysis technician centric curriculum. Some of the top choices in Arkansas are can be found here.

The average salary for a dialysis technician in the Natural State is $36,000.