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Author Topic: What kind of training, experience, or education is needed to become a tech?  (Read 19239 times)
Sara
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« on: July 30, 2006, 09:19:42 PM »

Just wondering what the typical qualifications are of a typical tech.
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kitkatz
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« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2006, 11:42:33 PM »

Ours are high school diplomas
Maybe some jr. college (not required though)
Maybe some dialysis training in vocational school
On-the-job-training in the unit on US
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Hawkeye
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« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2006, 12:07:17 PM »

Just wondering what the typical qualifications are of a typical tech.

Lets see you need...
A High School degree or equivalent
A heart beat

Yeah that's about it, or at least thats what it seems like.
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Epoman
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« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2006, 12:05:55 PM »

Just wondering what the typical qualifications are of a typical tech.

Lets see you need...
A High School degree or equivalent
A heart beat

Yeah that's about it, or at least thats what it seems like.

That's about right because at my center I have seen them train the RO guys on the job and they go from being an RO guy to a tech.  ::) No offical schooling needed. Now I no, on the job training is the best way to learn however NOT when you're dealing with peoples lives.  :-\
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Hawkeye
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« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2006, 12:16:39 PM »

That's about right because at my center I have seen them train the RO guys on the job and they go from being an RO guy to a tech.  ::) No official schooling needed. Now I know, on the job training is the best way to learn however NOT when you're dealing with peoples lives.  :-\

There are training classes (Theory and Policy / Procedure stuff) and tests that PCT and DA's need to take and pass to hold their position, otherwise they can't work for Fresenius.  The on the job training is actually just a part of it.  The problem with the on the job training is that in alot of situations people that have no business training because they don't do things right are the ones training the new employees.
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« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2006, 12:33:41 PM »

I saw plenty of OJT and some of the results scared the shit out of me.  One gangbanger looking guy was kept at bay as well as anyone else that I had any concerns over.  One would think that considering the work being done  the requirements would be much higher.  Considering the cost of dialysis per patient a person would think that high quality people would be affordable.  Epoman's pics and descriptions of the Davita Conference in Las Vegas sorta showed us where all those bucks are going.  Guess home dialysis might be the way to go..."if you want it done right, do it yourself"...
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Rerun
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« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2006, 09:02:07 PM »

I'm pretty sure at my clinic you need to be "bilingual."    >:D
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kitkatz
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« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2006, 11:34:45 PM »

Si!
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« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2006, 06:56:25 PM »

O O (pronounced oh oh) 
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kevno
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« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2006, 10:33:27 AM »

Just below kitkatz sixth graders standard >:D
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« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2006, 08:49:47 AM »

Eeegads!  Kevno, that is too low even by MY standards! ;D
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lifenotonthelist.com

Ivanova: "Old Egyptian blessing: May God stand between you and harm in all the empty places you must walk." Babylon 5

Remember your present situation is not your final destination.

Take it one day, one hour, one minute, one second at a time.

"If we don't find a way out of this soon, I'm gonna lose it. Lose it... It means go crazy, nuts, insane, bonzo, no longer in possession of ones faculties, three fries short of a Happy Meal, wacko!" Jack O'Neill - SG-1
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« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2006, 09:35:42 AM »

The truth hurts :o

Other the years I have seen some stupid things Nurses have done, also done to me :o >:(

On our unit just now we are training nurses for a new unit. They started in April - June, the new unit does not open until April 2007. So that is one year on job training. Plus the biggest part of the nurses on the unit are staff nurses, so thats four years training as a student Nurse. Plus all the exams that go with that.
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But this little saying keeps me going!!

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Panda_9
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« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2006, 06:01:54 AM »

Im an RN and most of our training was theory. Whilst some of the theory is necessary, alot of it is BS. I beleive hands on experience is by far the best way to learn once you get the basic knowledge from theory. I learnt more in 4 weeks of prac than I did in 4 weeks in class.

Im hoping to do HD nursing and possibly home HD in the future.
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kevno
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« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2006, 09:52:24 AM »

I suppose that why I always get the student Nurse, the other Nurses send them around to me to learn about what I have been through over the years. Plus read the notes I have made about the time being an renal patient. I am gentle with them, usually they are only first year students. Being dumped in at the deep end, on a acute renal dialysis unit. But they usually are on the unit for 9 weeks.
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But this little saying keeps me going!!

"RENAL PATIENTS NEVER GIVE UP!!!!!!"
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« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2006, 11:04:45 AM »

Amber its that way in anything.  I've had training in other stuff where schematics and block diagrams are pored over ad infinitum for days on end which is all meaningless.  The real learning happens when you get your hands on the equipment and have to fix it.  On the other hand in dialysis we are dealing with people.  If I make a mistake with some piece of equipment I can go back and make it right.  Screwing up a fistula or worse in a patient comes with no second chance.
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Panda_9
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« Reply #15 on: August 13, 2006, 05:59:24 PM »

I dont mind student nurses looking after me. However I cringed when they got one to do my permacath dressing. She seemed pretty inexperienced in aseptic technique, and although she had a nurse instructing her, she didnt tell her to stop breathing all over the exit site. Normally I would say something but I felt I was too sick to bother.
I personally dont think a first year student should be put on a dialysis unit. Of course they can do your BP and what not but they arent even close to being qualified for anything. You do need that first year to learn all your basic skills in the uni labs and do some theory to get some general knowledge of things before your thrown out there. We did no prac in our first year. I do think there should be some prac in the first year, but keep it simple to start with. I did a couple of days in the HD unit in my second year and although it was interesting, it was pretty much a waste of time because I was only really allowed to observe. Observing is important, however considering we only got 4 months of prac over 3 years, I think it needed to be spent on the basic training like sticking to routine, doing ECGs, setting up an IV, cannulating etc. We werent even taught to cannulate as thats something you can choose to do later on. I took blood a few times, but only because I asked to be taught while on prac.
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kevno
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« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2006, 11:20:11 PM »

In that 9 weeks the student nurses. Have a couple of weeks on the Transplant ward. On the PD ward. Plus on the haemodialysis unit. Mainly just taking BP's, Temps, getting the chairs ready. They get assigned a Staff Nurse too look after them while they are on the unit, all the poor student came do is just watch and learn. They are never allowed the change a dressing, or even touch the machines. All the student seems to do is follow the Staff Nurse around with a note book. Plus when they are sent to talk to me I usually fill their note book up, there are usually with me for about one hour. Which kills the time for me :)
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But this little saying keeps me going!!

"RENAL PATIENTS NEVER GIVE UP!!!!!!"
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« Reply #17 on: August 14, 2006, 04:15:06 AM »

Oh dont even remind me about the following of nurses looking for something to do!!! Oh it was so awful!!! You know what I ended up doing and it was the best thing I could of done - at the start of the shift, ask to have patients assigned to you, and you do all the work for them that day. Obviously you need supervision with some things but at least you wont be following a nurse around feeling like a total idiot. We started off with 1 patient, then 2, 4, then max I think I did was 8. I think it is important to do this to get to know the routines of each shift, otherwise you arent going to know what gets done when.
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« Reply #18 on: August 14, 2006, 07:32:31 PM »

I have to agree with Hawkeye.  a heartbeat is very important in becoming a tech. 

I had 7 years as an Air Force medic with national registry EMT when I started in dialysis.  I has lots...and I do mean LOTS of IV experience and I think that was a huge plus in doing my job.  I am often complimented on my sticking and I think that is because of the gentleness required when starting an IV.  It gave me an easy touch with cannulation.  Having all of this medical experience helped me to identify problems with my patients before they became big problems.  However, we have had alot of techs with no prior medical background.  I don't totally agree with this practice, but it appears to be nationwide.  For myself...it took me almost 6 months before I felt completely comfortable working on the machines.  And I was shadowed until they felt they could trust me with our patients.  Dialysis is a truly different world.
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Hawkeye
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« Reply #19 on: August 15, 2006, 08:43:41 AM »

If someone is truly interested in becoming a PCT there are college courses that they can take.  Several community colleges offer a renal care program that teaches them the basics of Dialysis.  I think it would make the industry a million times better for the patients if it was mandatory that a PCT take this course before being able to get the position.  On the job training is nice, and the other stuff Fresenius supplies for training helps, but the quality of people would be better if they had to work for it.  I had to go to electrical school and get a degree to work on the machines, why shouldn't they have to get a degree or certificate to "work" on the patients?
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« Reply #20 on: August 15, 2006, 05:06:18 PM »

Totally agree with you hawkeye, it seems stupid that you needed a degree where as the "techs" can be any joe blow. We only have nurses at our clinics, and as far as Ive seen they are all registered nurses. And what about emergency procedures? Are the techs all up on those? What if someone had a heart attack?
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Hawkeye
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« Reply #21 on: August 16, 2006, 08:59:27 AM »

Totally agree with you hawkeye, it seems stupid that you needed a degree where as the "techs" can be any joe blow. We only have nurses at our clinics, and as far as Ive seen they are all registered nurses. And what about emergency procedures? Are the techs all up on those? What if someone had a heart attack?

The techs have to have valid CPR cards, but if the Difib needs to be used it's on the nurses to do that.
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« Reply #22 on: September 13, 2007, 09:26:29 PM »

It varies from state to state.  Where I'm from, the techs need CNA certification & SNF experience.  What sucks is that FMC can't renew the CNA certification.  So basically we lose out on that one.  They should have one more requirement... NO ESL!!!  <<- read the thread "Does it bother you when the workers speak their native language".  Half of these CNAs have care homes but no professionalism.  I believe that you have to be a CCHT in Nevada. 
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« Reply #23 on: September 14, 2007, 10:01:39 AM »

this year colorado just passed a dialysis tech certification law. don't exactly know what that means yet, i'm sure the state don't know either. you have to have a license to empty a bed pan so hopefully something good will come from this.
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« Reply #24 on: November 22, 2007, 06:02:42 AM »

Just wondering what the typical qualifications are of a typical tech.

This is a very latent response from a former Technical Director for a National Dialysis Chain. I began working in dialysis at 19 and ran screaming away after 22 years because of the decline in appropriate response from the Administration to the appalling lack of training that we were being allowed to provide the staff at the facilities. "Push button" dialysis would be an appropriate term for the current mindset or at least in my humble opinion. I think the emphasis on spending fewer dollars on warm bodies that are backed up by one or two well trained personnel makes for not only a dangerous situation, but also for burn out for everyone involved.

My training was on the job but it was done by vetrans and training was done in levels. I did not officially work on my own until I had mastered the equipment, water treatment, and microbiology.

I think it is time that some of the old dinosaurs of dialysis come back out and look into providing training on a consultation basis so that the facilities could be well staffed again.

I suggest a we begin a forum for training and questions. Of course, the appropriate disclaimers will be necessary....
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