Thinking of taking up a career as a dialysis technician?
If so, it’s important to first understand what dialysis technicians do.
Dialysis technicians are part of a medical team.
Their main job is to help patients by operating dialysis machines.
They monitor patients throughout the duration of their treatment and ensure the machines are in proper working condition.
This guide will provide you with the advantages and disadvantages of a career as a dialysis technician.
In doing so, you can better understand if this is a career path that you would like to pursue.
Article Table of Contents
- 1 Pros of Being a Dialysis Technician
- 2 Cons of Being a Dialysis Technician
- 3 Pros and Cons of Being a Dialysis Technician – Summary Table
- 4 Should You Become a Dialysis Technician?
Pros of Being a Dialysis Technician
1. Experience Isn’t Required
One of the biggest advantages of being a dialysis technician is that you won’t need to have any experience.
However, you will still need to attain certain certifications and gain hands-on experience before you are able to become hired as a dialysis technician.
Are you looking for a career you can jump right into?
This may just be the perfect match for you.
2. Peaceful Work Environment
Your immediate vision of working in a medical environment may be chaotic, considering the typical stress that comes with the job.
However, with dialysis technicians, your work environment, for the most part, is calm.
Very rarely will you ever experience an emergency situation while at work.
The patients that you see on a daily basis will be those who are coming in for their scheduled dialysis appointments.
3. Interact With Many People
Working as a dialysis technician means that you will be able to interact with many people on a daily basis.
It’s much different from an emergency room environment, where you typically only see patients once.
You will have the opportunity to develop long-term relationships with the patients you care for as they continue to come in to receive treatments.
So, if connecting with people is your thing, this can be a very fulfilling profession for you.
4. Plenty of Opportunities to Advance
If a career as a dialysis technician isn’t fulfilling enough for you, you’ll be glad to know that you’ll have ample opportunities to advance in the future.
For example, if you are considering furthering your education, you can take biomedical equipment technician classes.
These courses can help you broaden your knowledge in the medical industry.
5. Reasonable Salary
For those who get paid well, they will forever remain productive in their professions.
Another advantage of being a dialysis technician is that you will earn a decent salary.
In fact, the starting pay for dialysis technicians is higher compared to other entry-level jobs.
Your starting pay can range anywhere between $38,000 and $47,000.
Aside from the salary, you will love the benefits that come along with the job.
Some of the benefits you’ll receive include vision insurance, dental, vacation days, sick days, holiday pay, and much more.
6. Many Options for Work Settings
Dialysis technicians can work in a variety of settings.
Many people are suffering from kidney failure and other kidney diseases that require medical attention.
Your skills are needed in both home and hospital environments.
The good news is that you’ll be able to work anywhere you’d like, of course, with the necessary certifications.
Additionally, you can move up in your career and transition into a renal or hemodialysis specialist.
A career as a dialysis technician offers both flexibility and stability.
So, if you’re a person who truly loves the work you perform, you can easily continue working as a dialysis technician until you retire.
Not to mention, there’s also a high demand for dialysis technicians, which means the job outlook is excellent.
If you’re just not sure whether this is the right career for you, this information should be more reassuring.
8. Hands-On Career
Do you enjoy working with your hands?
If so, a career as a dialysis technician may be suitable for you.
Dialysis technicians set up the dialysis machines and keep them maintained.
You’ll also be responsible for monitoring the patients while they are being treated.
Additionally, you must record the progress of every patient during the time they are there.
Cons of Being a Dialysis Technician
1. Burnout is a Real Possibility
Many of the patients you help will be very sick.
You may be required to render dialysis services to the same patient multiple times.
Working under these conditions can lead to burnout.
The truth of the matter is that some of these patients may pass away even after receiving treatment.
This could cause you to experience mental anguish, especially if you’ve formed a unique bond with a patient.
Some technicians may need counseling to help them deal with the impact of losing a patient.
2. Expenses for Education
Some people may choose to avoid careers that require them to earn a degree or certificate due to a lack of finances.
Education to become a dialysis technician isn’t necessarily expensive.
But you must still create many financial arrangements to carry you through.
Furthermore, if you plan on advancing in your career in the near future, more courses may be required.
This means you will need to spend more money.
For instance, if you’d like to eventually transition into being a dialysis nurse, a nursing degree will be required.
3. Legal Implications
Your primary responsibility as a dialysis technician is to care for the patients receiving dialysis.
Your orders will come directly from the patient’s doctor.
If something were to go wrong under your care, you could face certain legal implications.
The best way to avoid any legal responsibilities is to make sure you know what’s expected of you.
You must also know your patient’s rights.
4. May Have to be On-Call
If your job is located within an acute dialysis center, expect to be on call.
Being on call means you will have to be available to work holidays, weekends, and possibly on your days off.
As an on-call worker, you will be working more than 40 hours a week sometimes.
While you may appreciate the overtime benefits, your body will suffer the effects in the long term.
5. Exposed to Bodily Fluids
When you are dealing with patients in the medical field, no matter your career, you will always expose yourself to bodily fluids and pathogens.
This is no different for a dialysis technician.
You will be putting yourself at risk of becoming infected while handling bodily fluids.
Since some of these infections are contagious, your risk of exposure may even be life-threatening.
6. Long Shifts
One of the biggest challenges of being a dialysis technician is the long hours you are subjected to working.
Depending on the company you work for, your shifts could be as long as 10 or even 12 hours.
This means that you will be working early in the morning until late at night sometimes.
This type of schedule could create difficulties for your personal life, especially if you have children that you need to tend to.
7. May Face Difficult Choices
Ethical dilemmas are a huge part of most healthcare jobs.
As a dialysis tech, there will be times when you will be forced to make difficult choices, even if you don’t agree with them.
However, it’s always important to weigh the risks and benefits of the decisions you make.
Some of these decisions may be unpleasant.
For instance, it’s possible for you not to agree with certain choices that upper management makes regarding patient care.
However, you must still execute them.
Pros and Cons of Being a Dialysis Technician – Summary Table
|Pros of Being a Dialysis Technician||Cons of Being a Dialysis Technician|
|Experience Isn’t Required||Burnout is a Real Possibility|
|Peaceful Work Environment||Expenses for Education|
|Interact With Many People||Legal Implications|
|Plenty of Opportunities to Advance||May Have to be On-Call|
|Reasonable Salary||Exposed to Bodily Fluids|
|Many Options for Work Settings||Long Shifts|
|Stability||May Face Difficult Choices|
Should You Become a Dialysis Technician?
If being a part of a treatment care team sounds appealing to you, then becoming a dialysis technician could be a good choice.
Between 2018 and 2028, the expected growth rate for dialysis technicians is 9%.
Furthermore, the salary outlook for dialysis technicians is expected to increase.
There are many positive aspects you have to look forward to in this profession.
For instance, you will earn a decent starting salary, interact with a lot of people, and have the flexibility to work anywhere you desire.
However, before making your decision, it’s critical that you consider all the drawbacks of being a dialysis technician.
Burnout may be one of them.
On-call duties may also be required.
If you overlook these challenges, you may discover that this profession is filled with both happiness and satisfaction.