Dialysis technicians work with patients whose kidneys no longer function properly to produce urine. Dialysis is a lifesaving procedure used to remove waste and excess fluids from the blood and take them out of the body.
There are two types of dialysis:
- haemodialysis, whereby the patient’s blood is passed through a machine that contains a special filter. The cleansed blood is then returned to the body
- peritoneal dialysis involves inserting a tube into the patient’s abdomen and using the peritoneum (membrane lining of the abdominal cavity) as a filter.
Dialysis technicians monitor patients as they undergo dialysis to ensure that the process proceeds smoothly and the equipment functions effectively. They check the patient’s vital signs (blood pressure, temperature, pulse) and test the blood to make sure that the waste is being removed effectively. Some patients choose to undergo dialysis at home. In these cases, the technician instructs the patient, and other individuals who assist the patient, in the proper use of the equipment and when it is necessary to call for medical help.
Dialysis technicians also need to record treatment information and clean and repair equipment as needed.
How to Enter
Schooling & School Subjects
What to Study
Training at various private nursing colleges
- physicians’ consulting rooms
- attend to patients at home
Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA)
P O Box 205
Tel: (012) 338-9300 Fax: (012) 328-5120
- do voluntary work for a health care facility
- try to obtain part-time or voluntary work at a general hospital or other health care facility
- do first aid courses with such organisations as St John’s Ambulance
- make an appointment to speak to a dialysis technician about this type of career