California Dialysis Technician Requirements

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is the agency responsible for the oversight of End-Stage Renal Disease Centers and outlining the requirements to work in these facilities. California law falls right in line with the national requirements laid out by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

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 California. Exact job description is designated by the dialysis center and should be promulgated in writing.

California maintains a list of CDPH approved standardized tests, which you can find here, in addition to the nationally administered exam which you can take in order to meet the requirements of paragraph 4 above and be “certified under a State certification program or a national commercially available certification program.”

Therefore, you must pass an exam administered by one of the following organizations to become certified as a dialysis technician:

National Certification Programs

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

CDPH Approved Vendors

1. California Dialysis Council (CDC)

Phone number: (714) 632-8379

The CDC offers their test once a month in different parts of the state for $175 with a late registration penalty of $200 if you sign up for the test within 2 weeks of the exam day.

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

The average salary for a dialysis technician in the Golden State is $52,000.

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