Only 56% Of Dialysis Technicians Pass New Skills Test

Almost half of the dialysis technicians in California are failing a new Federally-mandated skills test, throwing the industry’s tarnished reputation under the magnifying glass once again.

ProPublica detailed some of the problems happening at some “dialysis mills” where patients are treated like cattle:

Although some clinics are orderly and expert – attentive not only to patients’ health, but also to their dignity – others are run like factories, turning over three shifts of patients a day, sometimes four. Safety experts say technicians shouldn’t monitor more than four patients at once, but some operators save money by stretching them further. The pace can be so intense, inspections show, that clinics have allowed patients to soil themselves rather than interrupt dialysis for a bathroom break. One technician said he quit his job at a large Colorado clinic because he often had to juggle six patients or more. “The last two years, I was just getting old,” he said.

Why are so many technicians failing? “A lot of people who have been in dialysis for years and years are not able to pass the test,” Mimi Eckert, executive director of the National Nephrology Certification Organization said in an interview. “It’s not because they’re not good people, but they have been taught in a small dialysis environment and have learned by doing, as opposed to knowing some of the vocabulary.”

Thanks, I’d rather my kidney pumper know the lingo and not just get by on on-the-job training.

Non-profit dialysis centers have lower mortality rates than for profit ones, according to government data. This new database lets you look up a clinic’s survival rate information, an important “know before you go” tool you should use before choosing a facility.

Nearly half of dialysis technicians failing skills test [California Watch]

Database Shows How Likely It Is You Will Die At A Dialysis Clinic
For-Profit Dialysis Centers Have Higher Mortality Rates, Up To 24%
Why Does US Have Worst Fatality Rate From Kidney Dialysis?