How to Become a Dialysis Technician in Pennsylvania

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How to Become a Dialysis Technician in Pennsylvania

The critical importance of dialysis machines and the dedicated professionals operating them cannot be overstated, as they significantly impact the lives of many individuals.

For a comprehensive understanding of this profession, please read on.

Dialysis Technician Job Description in Pennsylvania

Choosing a career path without a clear comprehension of the involved responsibilities is not a wise decision.

To embark on this journey, it is essential to understand that dialysis technicians work with patients facing kidney-related issues.

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Their principal duty revolves around ensuring the proper functioning of dialysis machines and operating them in alignment with the unique needs of each patient.

Additional responsibilities in this profession are:

  • Monitoring the vital signs of patients
  • Assisting patients throughout the dialysis procedure
  • Ensuring the safety and comfort of patients
  • Reviewing patients’ medical history to identify potential concerns during the procedure
  • Adjusting dialysis machines to suit individual patient needs
  • Administering oxygen when necessary
  • Basic Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) if required

While these tasks encompass some of the most common responsibilities of a dialysis technician, it’s important to note that daily duties may exhibit variation.

Dialysis Technician Requirements in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania does not impose stringent training and certification prerequisites for dialysis technicians.

Professionals are expected to adhere to the guidelines provided by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

According to CMS directives, future dialysis technicians in Pennsylvania must meet the following requirements:

  • High school diploma or GED
  • Training
  • Credentialing
  • Competency Standards of Practice
  • Licensure or certification
  • Gaining work experience

Certification should be obtained within 18 months of commencing employment.

Aspiring technicians can choose from a selection of nationally recognized certification examinations, administered by:

  • The Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission (NNCC)
  • The Board of Nephrology Examiners Nursing and Technology (BONENT)
  • The National Nephrology Certification Organization, Inc. (NNCO)

The certification process may involve both written and practical examinations.

Dialysis Technician Training Schools in Pennsylvania

As previously emphasized, dialysis technicians in Pennsylvania must successfully complete a formal training program before entering the workforce.

The initial step is to graduate from high school or attain a GED.

The following high school classes are relevant to this profession:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Medical terminology
  • Anatomy
  • Physiology

The core training begins at post-secondary educational institutions.

These include vocational schools, community colleges, or technical institutes.

You will get to learn more about:

  • Principles of dialysis
  • Care of patients with kidney failure
  • Possible complications of dialysis
  • Water treatment and dialysate preparation
  • Infection control
  • Safety Dialyzer reprocessing

Typically, it takes about one year to complete a suitable training program.

Let’s see which institutions you can attend to become a dialysis tech!

Calhoun Community College

Here you have access to a 50-hour training program, offering two distinct pathways for completion:

Online Option

Students have the flexibility to complete the program online, with a tuition fee of $1,299, which includes access to e-books.

Classroom-Based Option

Alternatively, the program can be completed in a traditional classroom setting, priced at $999, and this fee also covers the cost of textbooks.

Classroom sessions are conducted on Mondays and Wednesdays, commencing at 6 p.m.

Please note that refund policies are applicable exclusively to in-person classes.

Utopia Health Career Center

The course offered here lasts 8 weeks, but you can study at your own pace.

Those who don’t finish in the allotted time will receive an extra 4 weeks for completion.

If you need even more time, you’ll have to talk to your instructor to find solutions.

The cost of the course is $889 and you receive access to it for up to a year.

You can pay either in full or in 2 even payments.

Graduation from this course comes with:

  • Certificate of Completion extended by Utopia Health Career Center
  • A Certificate for 40 hours of Continuing Education

Auburn University

Auburn University offers a fully online dialysis technician program, with a tuition fee of $3,000.

This comprehensive program encompasses the following components:

  • Interactive learning modules,
  • Various learning exercises,
  • Access to career resources,
  • Round-the-clock mentoring support,
  • Opportunities for national and state certifications,
  • Self-paced learning

You should finish this program in 6 months.

Alabama State University

If you want to take the exam organized by BONENT, then you must enroll in the program offered by this university.

This course is accessible to students from other states, with the requirement that they ensure alignment with their state’s regulations.

The program is priced at $4,190 and offers the convenience of installment payments.

It encompasses 205 hours of coursework that must be completed within a 12-month period, even for those pursuing self-paced learning.

Furthermore, the course includes CPR training and certification, which is offered in collaboration with the Red Cross.

Course content covers a range of essential topics, including:

  • The Cardiovascular System
  • The Urinary System
  • The Endocrine System
  • The Reproductive System
  • Infection Control
  • Principles of Hemodialysis
School Name Address
Utopia Health Career Center online
Calhoun Community College online
Alabama State University online
Auburn University online
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Dialysis Technician Salary in Pennsylvania

Gaining insight into potential income before pursuing a career is essential.

Dialysis technicians typically hold entry-level positions, with an average annual salary of $51,000.

For information regarding cities in Pennsylvania where salaries may be higher, please refer to the following table.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Wycombe $55,700
Ackermanville $54,600
Broomall $54,200
Willow Grove $54,200
Bridgeport $54,200
Audubon $54,100
Cedars $54,000
Brookhaven $53,900
Stroudsburg $52,400
Bernville $50,800

Regional Salary in Pennsylvania

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ1,190$56,560$27.19$77,690$36,950
Altoona, PA140$54,490$26.2$79,030$30,200
Erie, PA240$51,410$24.72$74,480$31,640
Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA630$57,370$27.58$78,660$36,320
Johnstown, PA160$48,430$23.28$62,150$33,020
Lancaster, PA380$56,820$27.32$77,900$36,040
Lebanon, PA80$60,240$28.96$92,980$36,330
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD5,760$61,890$29.76$83,290$39,990
Pittsburgh, PA3,040$54,860$26.38$76,760$37,150
Reading, PA230$56,050$26.95$78,100$35,210
Scranton--Wilkes-Barre--Hazleton, PA530$50,430$24.25$77,000$34,500
State College, PA70$53,040$25.5$76,700$34,880
Williamsport, PA100$59,050$28.39$76,480$35,740
York-Hanover, PA310$57,200$27.5$75,960$35,420
* 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 Pennsylvania?

In Pennsylvania, individuals only need a certification recognized at the national level if they want to work as dialysis technicians.

Where Does a Dialysis Technician in Pennsylvania Find Work?

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

The following locations are the most common:

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

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

Dialysis techs must possess a series of skills and abilities.

These include:

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

USA Dialysis Technician by State

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