Article

Top 11 Dialysis Technician Certifications

This article provides an overview of the top certifications for dialysis technicians and offers advice on how to select the best certification for one's career goals.

Photo of Brenna Goyette
Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 17 min read

Certifications are an important part of the job market for dialysis technicians because they demonstrate a level of expertise and professional credibility. By obtaining certifications, dialysis technicians can prove to employers that they have the knowledge and skills necessary to perform their job duties safely and effectively. Certification also shows that the technician is committed to staying current on the latest industry standards and techniques, which can be beneficial to both patients and employers. Additionally, certification may open up opportunities for career advancement or higher salaries in competitive job markets.

This article reviews some of the top certifications for Dialysis Technicians and explains how they can contribute to a dialysis technician's career.

What are Dialysis Technician Certifications?

Dialysis technician certification is a professional certification program designed to demonstrate that an individual has the necessary knowledge and skills to work as a dialysis technician. This certification is typically obtained by taking a course or classes and passing an exam provided by a certifying body.

The purpose of certification is to ensure that dialysis technicians have the required expertise to provide quality care for patients with renal (kidney) failure. The certification process also helps employers verify that their staff have the necessary qualifications and experience to safely perform their duties.

The certification process includes topics such as patient assessment, hemodialysis treatment, vascular access, infection control, medication administration, patient education, laboratory procedures, medical terminology and ethics. Obtaining dialysis technician certification can help individuals become more competitive in the job market by demonstrating their commitment to providing quality care for patients. It can also help them advance in their career by proving they have the necessary knowledge and skills needed to work in this field.

Pro Tip: Be sure to research and understand the different requirements for dialysis technician certification in your state. Each state may have different prerequisites, such as background checks, minimum education levels, or even specific courses that must be completed prior to certification. Additionally, it is important to keep up with any changes in regulations or standards that may affect your certification status.

Related: What does a Dialysis Technician do?

Top 11 Dialysis Technician Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Dialysis Technicians today.

1. Certified Clinical Hemodialysis Technician (CCHT)

A Certified Clinical Hemodialysis Technician (CCHT) is a professional who has completed an approved program of study and passed an exam to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in the field of hemodialysis. Hemodialysis is a medical procedure used to treat patients with kidney failure, and CCHTs are responsible for operating dialysis machines, monitoring patient vital signs, and providing patient care.

It typically takes between one to two years to become certified as a CCHT. To get certified, you must first complete an approved hemodialysis technician program at an accredited school or institution. Once the program is completed, you must then pass the certification exam administered by the Board of Nephrology Examiners Nursing & Technology (BONENT).

The cost of becoming a CCHT varies depending on where you take your training course and how long it takes you to complete it. Generally speaking, the cost can range from several hundred dollars up to several thousand dollars. Additionally, there may be fees associated with taking the certification exam.

2. Certified Dialysis Technician (CDT)

A Certified Dialysis Technician (CDT) is a healthcare professional who has been certified by the Board of Nephrology Examiners Nursing and Technology (BONENT). CDTs are responsible for providing technical care to patients with kidney failure, including operating dialysis machines, monitoring patient vital signs, and performing laboratory tests.

It typically takes between six months and one year to become a Certified Dialysis Technician. The first step is to complete an accredited training program in dialysis technology. After completing the program, applicants must pass the BONENT certification exam in order to become certified.

The cost of becoming a Certified Dialysis Technician varies depending on the type of training program chosen. Most programs require tuition fees ranging from $1,000-$5,000. In addition, there is a fee for taking the BONENT certification exam which ranges from $200-$300.

3. Certified Nephrology Technologist (CNT)

A Certified Nephrology Technologist (CNT) is a healthcare professional who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of kidney diseases. CNTs are certified by the Board of Nephrology Examiners Nursing and Technology (BONENT). To become a CNT, one must complete an accredited nephrology technology program, pass the BONENT certification exam, and maintain continuing education requirements.

The certification process typically takes about two years to complete. The first step is to enroll in an accredited nephrology technology program. These programs typically take two years to complete and include courses in anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, clinical laboratory techniques, and patient care. After completing the program, students must then pass the BONENT certification exam. This exam covers topics such as medical terminology, renal physiology, dialysis equipment operation and maintenance, infection control procedures, water treatment principles, and patient care.

Once certified as a CNT, individuals must maintain their certification by completing continuing education credits every three years. The cost of becoming a CNT varies depending on the school or program chosen for training. Generally speaking though, tuition costs range from $10-20k for most programs.

4. Certified Dialysis Nurse (CDN)

Certified Dialysis Nurse (CDN) is a certification offered by the Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission (NNCC). It is designed to recognize nurses who have achieved a high level of expertise in the field of dialysis nursing. The CDN credential is earned through successful completion of an examination that covers topics such as dialysis procedures, patient assessment and management, and quality assurance.

It typically takes about two years to complete the requirements for the CDN certification. The first step is to become a Registered Nurse (RN) in your state. After becoming an RN, you must complete at least 1,000 hours of clinical practice in dialysis nursing within three years prior to taking the exam. You must also have completed at least 30 continuing education hours in nephrology or dialysis nursing during that same time period.

To take the exam, you must submit an application and fee to NNCC. The cost of the exam varies depending on whether you are a member of NNCC or not; it costs $270 for non-members and $230 for members. Once you pass the exam, you will receive your CDN certificate from NNCC and be eligible to use the CDN credential after your name.

5. Certified Hemodialysis Technician (CHT)

A Certified Hemodialysis Technician (CHT) is a healthcare professional who is trained to operate, maintain and troubleshoot dialysis equipment and provide patient care. They are responsible for monitoring the dialysis process, ensuring that all safety protocols are followed, and providing patient education about their treatment. The CHT certification is offered through the Board of Nephrology Examiners Nursing & Technology (BONENT).

To become a CHT, you must have either a high school diploma or GED, plus at least one year of experience in hemodialysis as an assistant or technician. You must also complete a BONENT-approved training program and pass the CHT exam. The exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions covering topics such as anatomy and physiology, infection control, dialyzer reprocessing, water treatment systems, dialysate preparation and delivery systems, machine operation and maintenance, patient assessment and care techniques.

The cost to take the CHT exam varies depending on where you take it; however it typically ranges from $200-$300. The cost of a BONENT-approved training program may vary depending on the institution offering it; however most programs range from $1,000-$2,000.

6. Certified Home Hemodialysis Technician (CHHT)

A Certified Home Hemodialysis Technician (CHHT) is a healthcare professional who has been trained and certified to provide home hemodialysis treatments for patients with end-stage renal disease. CHHTs are responsible for setting up, operating, and maintaining home dialysis machines and providing patient education on the use of the equipment. They also monitor patients during dialysis sessions and report any changes in their condition to the physician.

To become a CHHT, individuals must complete an accredited program that includes both classroom instruction and clinical experience. Depending on the program, it can take anywhere from 6 months to 1 year to complete training. After completing the program, individuals must pass a certification exam administered by one of several organizations including Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission (NNCC) or National Nephrology Certification Organization (NNCO).

The cost of becoming a CHHT varies depending on the program chosen and may include tuition fees as well as additional costs such as books, supplies, and exam fees. The cost can range from $2,000-$6,000 or more depending on the program chosen.

7. Certified Peritoneal Dialysis Technician (CPT)

A Certified Peritoneal Dialysis Technician (CPT) is a health care professional who has been certified to perform peritoneal dialysis treatments. Peritoneal dialysis is a form of renal replacement therapy that uses the lining of the abdomen, or peritoneum, as a filter to remove waste and excess fluid from the body. The CPT is responsible for setting up, monitoring, and maintaining the patient’s equipment, as well as providing education and support to patients and their families.

To become certified as a CPT, an individual must complete an accredited training program in peritoneal dialysis technology. This typically takes about one year to complete. After completing the program, individuals must pass a certification examination administered by the Board of Nephrology Examiners Nursing and Technology (BONENT). Once certified, CPTs must maintain their certification by completing continuing education requirements every two years.

The cost of becoming certified varies depending on the program chosen and other factors such as location and materials needed for study. Generally speaking, tuition for an accredited program can range from $2,000 - $10,000 USD. Additionally, there is usually an exam fee associated with taking the BONENT certification exam which can range from $200 - $400 USD.

8. Advanced Renal Education Program Certification in Dialysis Technology (AREP-CDT)

Advanced Renal Education Program Certification in Dialysis Technology (AREP-CDT) is a professional certification program for dialysis technicians. It is designed to provide dialysis technicians with the knowledge and skills necessary to provide safe and effective patient care in the dialysis setting. The program is administered by the National Kidney Foundation and accredited by the American Society of Nephrology.

The AREP-CDT program consists of two components: a written exam and a clinical practicum. The written exam covers topics such as anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacology, laboratory values, patient assessment, dialysis treatments, infection control and safety protocols. The clinical practicum requires candidates to complete hands-on training in a dialysis facility under the supervision of an experienced dialysis technician or nurse.

It typically takes between 6 months and 1 year to complete the AREP-CDT program depending on how quickly you can complete the required coursework and practicum hours. To get certified through this program, you must first meet all eligibility requirements which include being at least 18 years old, having a high school diploma or GED equivalent, completing an approved training program in dialysis technology or have at least one year of experience working as a dialysis technician in an approved setting.

Once you have met all eligibility requirements, you must register for the AREP-CDT exam which costs $200 USD plus any applicable taxes. After registering for the exam, you will be given access to study materials which include textbooks and online resources. You must then pass both components of the exam before being awarded your certification as an Advanced Renal Education Program Certified Dialysis Technician (AREP-CDT).

9. American Nephrology Nurses Association Certification in Dialysis Nursing (ANNA-CDN)

The American Nephrology Nurses Association Certification in Dialysis Nursing (ANNA-CDN) is a specialty certification for Registered Nurses who specialize in dialysis nursing. It is designed to recognize the knowledge, skills, and abilities of nurses who provide care to patients with end-stage renal disease.

To receive the ANNA-CDN certification, nurses must have a valid RN license, have at least one year of experience as a full-time registered nurse in an acute or chronic dialysis setting, and pass an examination administered by ANNA. The exam consists of multiple choice questions covering topics such as patient assessment, care planning and delivery, infection control, vascular access management, nutrition management and education.

It typically takes approximately 6 months from the time of application to receive the certification. To apply for the ANNA-CDN certification, nurses must complete an online application form and submit a fee of $295 USD.

10. National Nephrology Technicians Association Certification in Dialysis Technology (NNTA-CDT)

The National Nephrology Technicians Association Certification in Dialysis Technology (NNTA-CDT) is a certification program for nephrology technicians who work in dialysis clinics. It is designed to recognize the professional skills and knowledge that nephrology technicians must possess to provide quality patient care. The certification is awarded upon successful completion of a comprehensive exam that tests the technician’s knowledge of all aspects of dialysis technology, including patient assessment, equipment operation, troubleshooting, and safety protocols.

The NNTA-CDT certification requires a minimum of two years of clinical experience working as a nephrology technician before taking the exam. The exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions and can be taken at any Prometric testing center throughout the United States. The cost for the exam is $250.00 and applicants must also pay an additional fee for their application to be processed.

Once certified, nephrology technicians are required to complete continuing education credits every two years in order to maintain their certification status. They must also renew their certification every five years by passing an updated version of the same exam they took when they first became certified.

11. International Society of Nephrology Technicians Certification in Dialysis Technology (ISONT-CDT).

The International Society of Nephrology Technicians Certification in Dialysis Technology (ISONT-CDT) is a certification program that prepares and certifies individuals to work as nephrology technicians in dialysis centers. The certification is awarded by the International Society of Nephrology Technicians (ISONT), which is a professional association dedicated to promoting excellence in the field of nephrology technology.

The ISONT-CDT certification program typically takes between six months and one year to complete, depending on the individual’s background and experience. To qualify for the certification, applicants must have at least two years of experience working as a nephrology technician or related position, and must pass an exam administered by ISONT. The exam consists of both written and practical components, covering topics such as anatomy and physiology, dialysis equipment operation, patient care procedures, infection control protocols, and more.

In order to obtain the ISONT-CDT certification, applicants must first register with ISONT and pay a registration fee. This fee varies from country to country but typically ranges from $100-$200 USD. Once registered, applicants will be able to access study materials for the exam as well as take practice tests online. After completing all necessary requirements for the exam, applicants can then take the final exam at an approved testing center. Upon successful completion of the exam, applicants will receive their official ISONT-CDT certification card.

Do You Really Need a Dialysis Technician Certificate?

The answer to this question depends on the individual's career goals. For those interested in becoming a dialysis technician, a certificate is necessary in order to practice, as most employers require certification. Additionally, many states require technicians to be certified by a recognized organization such as the Board of Nephrology Examiners Nursing and Technology (BONENT) or the National Nephrology Certification Organization (NNCO).

For those looking to gain employment in other areas of the healthcare sector, a certificate may not be necessary. A degree, diploma or relevant experience may be sufficient for some positions. However, acquiring a certificate can still be beneficial as it provides an additional credential that sets an applicant apart from other applicants and demonstrates specialized knowledge in the field.

In conclusion, whether or not one needs a dialysis technician certificate depends on their career aspirations and the requirements of the position they are applying for. In any case, having a certificate can help one stand out among other applicants and show employers that they are dedicated to their chosen profession.

Related: Dialysis Technician Resume Examples

FAQs About Dialysis Technician Certifications

1. What qualifications do I need to become a Dialysis Technician?

Answer: To become a Dialysis Technician, you must have at least a high school diploma or GED, complete an approved training program, and pass the certification exam administered by the Board of Nephrology Examiners Nursing and Technology (BONENT).

2. How long does it take to become certified as a Dialysis Technician?

Answer: The amount of time it takes to become certified as a Dialysis Technician varies depending on the individual's experience level. Generally speaking, completing an accredited dialysis technician program can take anywhere from 6 months to 1 year.

3. Are there continuing education requirements for Dialysis Technicians?

Answer: Yes, all states require Dialysis Technicians to complete continuing education courses in order to maintain their certification. The number of hours required varies by state but is typically between 24-36 hours every two years.

4. How much does it cost to become certified as a Dialysis Technician?

Answer: The cost of becoming certified as a Dialysis Technician can vary depending on the type of program you choose and other factors such as materials and lab fees. Generally speaking, expect to pay around $500-$1000 for tuition and other related expenses associated with your program.

5. What are the job duties of a Dialysis Technician?

Answer: The primary responsibilities of a Dialysis Technician include preparing and maintaining dialysis equipment, monitoring patients during dialysis treatments, performing patient assessments prior to treatment, administering medications as prescribed by physicians, educating patients and families about dialysis procedures and safety measures, collecting specimens for laboratory testing, documenting patient care activities in medical records, and providing emotional support to patients undergoing dialysis treatments.