District of Columbia (Washington D.C.) Dialysis Technician Requirements
The Washington D.C. Department of Health maintains a list of End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Centers within the district but does not promulgate any guidelines for becoming a dialysis technician. In the absence of clear direction the national standards set by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) apply and the training and certifying process for dialysis technicians is left up to the individual clinics.
Below is an excerpt from the Conditions for Coverage released by CMS in 2008 listing the requirements to become a certified hemodialysis technician (CHT) or patient care dialysis technician (PCT):
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.
(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 Washington D.C.. Exact job description is designated by the dialysis center and should be promulgated in writing.
To comply with paragraph 4 and be “certified under a State certification program or a national commercially available certification program” Washington D.C. 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:
National Certification Programs
Phone number: (888) 884-6622
Phone number: (202) 462-1252
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 Washington D.C. offer programs with a dialysis technician centric curriculum. Some of the top choices in Washington D.C. are: (or can be found here)
To learn more about the national certification organizations including exam prices, frequency of administration and study guides look here.
The average salary for a dialysis technician in Washington D.C. is $46,000.