There are many good reasons to pursue a career in healthcare, but perhaps none is so noble as wanting to spend your career helping others live a happier, healthier life. As a dialysis technician, a position also referred to as hemodialysis technician, you can truly make a difference in the lives of those with chronic kidney failure and end stage renal disease. It is a career in high demand, as the population in the United States continues to age and the incidence of Type 2 Diabetes, a major risk factor for kidney disease, continues to climb.
Becoming a dialysis technician is a major decision, but it is possible to find a trusted dialysis school that can help lead you down the right path. These institutions may offer classroom instruction or online courses, in addition to clinical practicums that give students the opportunity to work directly with patients, under supervision, so that they are entirely prepared for their new career. Dialysis tech programs prepare you to take national or state approved certification exams so that you are ready to work in a hospital, home care setting or dialysis center upon graduation. Because dialysis training can take as little as a semester, it is easy to make the choice and start working, and earning, quickly.
Because the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not track numbers that are unique to dialysis technicians, be aware that any data from them may not be entirely accurate. The numbers from the BLS actually track all Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians as one group, which includes dialysis technicians, but also a wide range of other medical occupations. The career outlook for all medical and clinical laboratory technicians is quite good, with a growth rate of 30% expected through 2022 (BLS, 2012). There are many reasons for this faster than average growth, chief among them being the aging U.S. population who will continue to need more medical attention as time goes on. For dialysis technicians specifically, the rising rate of Type 2 Diabetes is expected to contribute to an increased demand, since that disease is a major risk factor for kidney disease, according to the National Kidney Foundation. As with other healthcare professions, the demand for hemodialysis technicians does not tend to decrease or fluctuate with the economy, which can make it an attractive choice for those that do not want to take that type of career risk.