Tennessee Dialysis Technician Requirements

The Tennessee Department of Health, Division of Health Care Facilities is responsible for overseeing End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Centers and outlining the requirements to work in these facilities. Tennessee law explains in detail the requirements to become a certified dialysis technician within the state (see rule 1200-08-32-.04 (11)). These requirements overlap those set by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) in 2008. While you can review the state law through the link above, we have included 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.

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

Since Tennessee has its own certification process, to meet the requirements of paragraph 4 and become “certified under a State certification program or a national commercially available certification program” you may pass an exam approved by Tennessee or one administered by the following institutions:

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

To prepare for the exam and meet the training requirements in paragraph 3 of the CMS instruction, several online and campus-based schools in Tennessee offer programs with a dialysis technician centric curriculum. Some of the top choices in Tennessee 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 the Volunteer State is $26,000.