How to Become a Dialysis Technician in California

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How to Become a Dialysis Technician in California

Without dialysis machines and skilled operators, many lives would face significantly shortened lifespans.

This underscores the vital role of dialysis technicians within the healthcare field.

Although operating a dialysis machine may not seem glamorous, it can be a fulfilling occupation for those who aspire to make a positive impact on others’ lives.

For those eager to learn more about this profession, you’ve come to the right place, so read on!

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Dialysis Technician Job Description in California

Choosing a career without a clear understanding of your responsibilities isn’t advisable.

The first thing to know is that dialysis technicians in California work with patients who have kidney-related issues.

Their primary duty is to ensure the dialysis machine’s proper functionality and operate it according to each patient’s specific needs.

Here are some additional responsibilities associated with this profession:

  • Monitoring patients’ vital signs.
  • Assisting patients during the dialysis procedure.
  • Ensuring patients’ safety and comfort.
  • Reviewing patients’ medical histories to identify any additional conditions that require attention during the procedure.
  • Adjusting dialysis machines based on individual patient requirements.
  • Administering oxygen if necessary.
  • Providing basic Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) if needed.

These represent some of the most common job duties of dialysis technicians, although their day-to-day tasks may vary.

Dialysis Technician Requirements in California

In California, individuals pursuing a career as dialysis technicians are under the jurisdiction of the private sector.

While there are no strict training and certification requirements for dialysis technicians in this state, these professionals must follow the instructions set forth by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

According to the CMS, prospective dialysis technicians in California should have:

  • A high school diploma or GED.
  • Training.
  • Credentials
  • Competency standards.
  • Licensure or certification.

Certification must be obtained within 18 months of commencing employment.

Candidates can pursue nationally recognized certifications through examinations such as:

  • The Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission (NNCC)
    • Certified Clinical Hemodialysis Technician (CCHT) Exam
  • The Board of Nephrology Examiners Nursing and Technology (BONENT)
    • Certified Hemodialysis Technician (CHT) Exam
  • The National Nephrology Certification Organization, Inc. (NNCO)
    • Certified in Clinical Nephrology Technology (CCNT) Exam
    • Certified in Biomedical Nephrology Technology (CBNT) Exam

The few guidelines available in California for this occupation come from the Californian Board of Nursing.

For instance, candidates have to pass both a written test and a practical one.

Certified professionals will have to:

  • Complete continuing education courses every two years.
  • Pass the recertification exam every four years.

Dialysis Technician Training Schools in California

Dialysis technicians in California must complete a training program before seeking employment. Their first step is to graduate from high school or obtain a GED.

In high school, candidates should focus on subjects like biology, chemistry, medical terminology, anatomy, and physiology.

However, formal training begins in post-secondary educational institutions such as vocational schools, community colleges, or technical institutes.

During this training, students delve into topics like:

  • Principles of dialysis.
  • Caring for patients with kidney failure.
  • Potential complications of dialysis.
  • Water treatment and dialysate preparation.
  • Infection control.
  • Safety in dialyzer reprocessing.

An appropriate training program typically takes about a year to complete.

Here is a list of approved institutions offering dialysis technician courses in California.

The Renal Care Training Institute, Inc. (RCTI)

This is an approved program by the California Department of Health Services for training Hemodialysis Technicians and Nurses.

RCTI offers an intensive and comprehensive vocational training course designed to equip students with the necessary skills for the Hemodialysis field and employment in dialysis centers.

The course comprises 120 hours of theoretical (classroom) and practical (hands-on) instruction, along with 200 hours of clinical internship.

After successfully completing the 6-month course, students receive an RCTI completion certificate and become eligible to take the Hemodialysis Certification (CCDT & CDN) exams.

The program is structured into two primary components.

The first component encompasses a comprehensive 120-hour didactic (classroom) instruction program.

In the classroom curriculum, students receive thorough theoretical education and guidance on best practices, complemented by practical ‘hands-on’ training.

The second pivotal component of their program is the internship.

RCTI collaborates with industry leaders in dialysis, such as DaVita and Fresenius, to provide students with the most exceptional internship opportunities available in Los Angeles County.

After successful completion of both the classroom and internship components, students are required to pass the RCTI final exam.

Once they pass this exam, they achieve the status of program graduates and become eligible to take the Certified Clinical Hemodialysis Technician exam.

School Name Address
The Renal Care Training Institute, Inc. (RCTI) 10243 Sepulveda Blvd., Suite 200, Mission Hills, CA 91345
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Dialysis Technician Salary in California

Understanding your potential income is essential when considering a career path.

Dialysis technicians typically start in entry-level positions with an average annual salary of around $48,500 in California.

If you’re interested in knowing which cities in California offer higher salaries, please refer to the table below:

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
San Francisco $55,000
Burlingame $54,500
Alamo $53,500
Watsonville $50,500
Los Angeles $49,400
Santa Ana $49,100
Annapolis $48,400
Sacramento $47,600
San Diego $47,500
Banning $46,700

Regional Salary in California

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Bakersfield, CA380$63,380$30.47$106,060$39,300
Chico, CA120$59,020$28.38$101,700$41,040
El Centro, CA40$56,750$27.28$83,280$36,860
Fresno, CA460$64,830$31.17$106,100$35,800
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA11,170$65,780$31.63$107,780$38,560
Madera, CA90$59,170$28.45$100,770$39,230
Merced, CA40$96,400$46.35$136,630$41,490
Modesto, CA270$72,780$34.99$123,800$37,020
Napa, CA60$86,960$41.81$146,070$48,420
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA380$67,810$32.6$104,730$37,320
Redding, CA100$86,470$41.57$134,140$44,300
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA1,690$61,370$29.51$103,960$36,680
Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA1,910$73,830$35.49$126,220$38,150
Salinas, CA210$64,910$31.21$111,070$46,110
San Diego-Carlsbad, CA3,170$62,400$30$98,010$37,780
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA5,100$78,490$37.74$121,700$45,550
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA1,460$78,150$37.57$126,110$48,340
San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA90$79,030$38$133,360$45,760
Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA210$70,810$34.05$136,200$39,050
Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA330$66,890$32.16$125,250$34,930
Santa Rosa, CA360$75,630$36.36$116,560$44,310
Stockton-Lodi, CA340$74,390$35.77$132,800$40,390
Vallejo-Fairfield, CA280$72,670$34.94$85,500$40,810
Visalia-Porterville, CA120$57,680$27.73$104,060$37,020
Yuba City, CA80$59,450$28.58$85,040$40,260
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians, OCC Code 29-2010, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a license or a certification to work as a dialysis technician in California?

In California, individuals don’t need a license, but a certification recognized at the national level.

Which Other Skills Are Required for a Dialysis Technician in California?

Dialysis techs must possess a series of skills and abilities.

These include:

  • Attention to details
  • Excellent communication
  • Empathy
  • Patience
  • Compassion
  • Technical mind

Where Does a Dialysis Technician in California Find Work?

There are many different settings where a dialysis technician can find employment.

These next locations are the most common:

  • Hospitals
  • Dialysis centers
  • Outpatient clinics
  • Home healthcare agencies

USA Dialysis Technician by State

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