Dialysis Technician Responsibilities

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A dialysis technician is a trained and certified professional responsible for operating a kidney dialysis machine. Kidney dialysis is a life saving procedure and the dialysis technician responsibilities are therefore very important. A dialysis technician is responsible for preparing a patient for dialysis, operating and maintaining the dialysis equipment, and monitoring the patient before, during, and after dialysis.

Preparing the Patient

In order for the patient to receive kidney dialysis, he/she must first be prepared to be connected to the dialysis machine. In order for blood to quickly and easily flow in and out of the patient’s body, two large catheters must be connected to veins,  usually in the arm. Because the veins must be enlarged to accept a fairly large catheter, a minor surgery is often required. Once the veins are ready to receive the catheters, two are inserted into the patient, one for the outflow of blood and one for the inflow. Dialysis technician responsibilities include helping the patient get comfortable and preparing the equipment to receive their blood.

Operating the Kidney Dialysis Equipment

A dialysis technician has been trained and certified to operate the dialysis equipment. One of the most important dialysis technician responsibilities is to inspect the equipment before and after use to ensure everything is in perfect working condition. The equipment must also be completely sterilized to reduce the risk of infection. Because the needs of each patient are different, the dialysis technician will be responsible for adjusting the blood flow rates before and during dialysis as necessary.

Monitoring the Patient

One of the main dialysis technician responsibilities is to monitor the patient before, during, and after kidney dialysis. This is the best way to confirm that the dialysis process is effective and the patient is not responding negatively to the treatment. The dialysis technician will ensure the patient is as comfortable as possible during the 3-4 hour dialysis procedure, as well as monitor the patient’s vital signs. It is important that the blood pressure, heart rate, respiration, etc. remain normal during dialysis. This indicates that the body is responding well to dialysis.