Dialysis technicians have the ability to further their education and sharpen their skills by getting certifications by accredited organizations. Having certifications means that your knowledge, skills, and abilities have been tested and validated which then proves your competency in the field.
Why is it important to have dialysis technician certifications?
Getting the proper care is perhaps the biggest concern for dialysis patients. Having a minimum of 3 treatments a week means relying on dialysis technicians in giving them the best quality care possible and keeping them safe throughout the treatment. That is why healthcare providers put a premium in hiring competent dialysis technicians and having these certifications certainly gives you the advantage.
Certified Clinical Hemodialysis Technician (CCHT)
A CCHT is a dialysis technician that has been tested and certified by the Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission (NNCC). The NNCC is:
They are an independent organization that was established in 1987 to develop and implement certification examinations for nephrology nursing.
They develop, administers, and evaluate tests with collaboration with the Center for Nursing Education and Testing (C-NET).
They also promote, advertise and offer certification examinations and are endorsed by the American Nephrology Nurses’ Association (ANNA).
Their goal is to “promote the highest standards of nephrology nursing practice through the development, implementation, coordination and evaluation of all aspects of the certification and re-certification processes.”
The NNCC basically makes sure that CCHT’s are competent and skilled in the field. Their education and training programs are all regularly updated on the latest practices and ensures that quality and safe patient care is given.
The CCHT Examination
The CCHT exam contains 150 questions and must be completed in three hours. An individual must be able to get 70-75% correct answers in order to get the certification. The NNCC has provided the areas of topics that the exam will cover in their CCHT Examination Blueprint.
Exam preparation is key here. Setting aside a dedicated time to study and also a quiet environment is necessary. Also, it is very important to have the right set of tools to help you prepare for the exam. In the DTTH Resource page, we have made our own CCHT Q&A study guide which has over 1500 questions to help you prepare for the exam (We are giving away a FREE 100 question exam. Check out the bottom of the page or the sidebar. All you need to do is enter your email so we know where to send the exam to.) We have also listed other study tools that has been recommended and used by other people to help them pass the CCHT exam.
Dialysis Technician Certification Eligibility Requirements
The applicant must meet the following criteria to be eligible to take the CCHT exam:
Must have a high school diploma or its equivalent.
Must have proof of completion of a training program for clinical hemodialysis technicians that include both classroom instruction and supervised clinical experience.
Applicant must provide proof of the number of hours of hands-on patient care obtained as part of the training program.
If the applicant has already worked in the past 18 months as a clinical hemodialysis technician, he must provide the name of the employer and a signature to verify employment. It is also recommended (but not required) to have a minimum of six (6) months (or 1,000 hours) of clinical experience.
Read more about the fee schedule for the CCHT exam
Dialysis Technician Recertification
Certification is valid up to 3 years from the last day of the month that the individual passed the exam. For recertification, a requirement of 3000 working hours as a CCHT within the 3 years is required in addition to the thirty (30) hours of continuing education (CEU). The CEUs must be relevant to the hemodialysis technician scope of practice in caring for patients requiring dialysis.
You must retain all CEU certificates in your personnel files to demonstrate that you have met the requirements for recertification in the event of a random audit.
For all other inquiries, please visit the NNCC website: http://www.nncc-exam.org/.
Certified Hemodialysis Technician (CHT)
A CHT is a dialysis technician that is certified by the Board of Nephrology Examiners Nursing and Technology (BONENT). The BONENT is a global certification group for nephrology nurses and technicians. The group is composed of registered and licensed practical nurses, licensed vocational nurses and Dialysis Technicians. They exist to ensure that nephrology practitioners are competent and skilled by offering training, certification and credentialing.
The CHT Examination
The CHT examination is meant to test knowledge and technical proficiency. It focuses on the five major areas of practice and tasks performed in the scope of hemodialysis technology:
Patient Care 65%
Machine Technology 10%
Water Treatment 5%
Dialyzer Reprocessing 5%
Education/Personal Development 15%
The examination is 150 questions long and can be taken up to three hours.
Preparing for the CHT exam is basically the same as preparing for the CCHT exam. Having a quiet environment where you can peacefully study and setting aside a couple hours per day to just focus on reviewing. Also having the right set of study materials is very important so we have recommended the best study guides out there that have been used by hundreds of dialysis technicians during their exams.
Certification Eligibility Requirements
The applicant must meet the following criteria to be eligible to take the CHT exam:
Must have a copy of your high school diploma or transcript (signed by the principal and with the school seal)
One year of experience (12 months) as a dialysis technician and is currently working in an ESRD facility
If unemployed but has the minimum 12 months of experience, you can have your previous supervisor sign your application and write you a reference letter.
If you have 4 years of experience but lack evidence of a high school diploma or transcript, you may still apply for certification.
All experience must be verified by two signed letters of reference:
One from the applicant’s immediate supervisor (the same person who signs the application)
The other from a professional (e.g. a peer or mentor in the field of nephrology)
Both letters must include the applicant’s legal name and verify his/her length of employment, character and job duties.
Examination fee (as of 2014) is $250
Certification is valid up to 4 years from the date of passing the examination. You can choose to recertify via 3 options:
Accumulate 40 hours of Continuing education units (CEU) related to your practice as a nephrology practitioner
Retake the CHT test again.
You can use a one-time waiver to recertify you even without the 40 hours of CEU.
For all other inquiries, please visit the BONENT website http://www.bonent.org/