Certification FAQs

 

What do I need to be a CALIFORNIA Certified Hemodialysis Technician

Requirements – Effective as of April 15, 2010
CDPH "All Facilities Letter" describing the NEW Certified Hemodialysis Technician (CHT) Certification Requirements
Requirement 1) High school diploma or equivalent (GED)
Requirement 2) Must have successfully completed a California state approved training program (i.e. approved by CDPH)
Requirement 3) Pass the California Dialysis Council (CDC) State Approved Exam or one of the CMS approved National Exams
Complete the CDPH Initial/Renewal CHT application which can be found at:

To check the status of a patient care technician's certification, facilities can call the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system at (916) 327-2445. Or check on CDPH's web site at: http://www.applications.dhs.ca.gov/cvl/SearchPage.aspx.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

On November 3, 2008, the California Department of Public Health sent a letter (AFL 08-30) informing the public that effective April 15, 2010, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), established new conditions for coverage for dialysis facilities to be certified under the Medicare program. These established standards which include the certification of Patient Care Technicians (PCTs), known in California as Certified Hemodialysis Technicians (CHTs).

The following questions and answers may clarify questions concerning this matter.  If you have furthur qustions about certification, you need to contact the California Department of Public Health at 916-327-2445. 

If you have questions specifically about the CDC Exam, please email California Dialysis Council

Question #1: I am a Nationally Certified Hemodialysis Technician (CCHT/CHT/CCNT) not living in California, what do I need to do to be able to work as a Hemodialysis Technician in California?

Answer: You must be certified by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) by meeting the requirements 1, 2 and 3 as indicated in the table above and submit your application (bottom row of the table above) to CDPH for approval. As a Nationally Certified Hemodialysis Technician you must have already met requirements # 1 and 3, but still need to have successfully completed a California state approved training program. At the discretion of the dialysis facility, you may be able to work as a Trainee Patient Care Technician while you complete the facility's training program.

Question #2: I have passed the CDC State exam and am certified by the State; do I also have to take and pass one of the National Exams to work in California?

Answer: No ~ Please refer to Requirement #3 in the above table. You need to pass ONLY ONE exam. The CDC Exam OR one of the National Exams.

Question #3: If I take the nationally available certification test, can I use that to become certified in other states?

Answer
: Each state is different. You should contact the state in which you choose to work and inquire about their specific requirements.

Question #4: Where can I take a technician exam and what is the fee for the testing?

Answer: You will need to contact one of the four (4) currently approved testing organizations:

  • California Dialysis Council ~ $225 for Computer Exam

2973 Harbor Blvd #295  www.californiadialysis.org
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

  • Certified Clinical Hemodialysis Technician (CCHT) offered by the Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission (NNCC) ~ $195.00
    East Holly Avenue, Box 56 www.nncc-exam.org
    Pittman, NJ 08071-0056

  • Board of Nephrology Examiners for Nursing and Technology (BONENT) ~ $200.00

    901 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Suite 607 www.bonent.org
    Washington DC 20006

  • National Nephrology Certification Organization (NNCO) examination ~ $245.00

    1350 Broadway 17th floor www.ptcny.com
    New York, NY 10018

Question #5: What happens if I take an exam and fail? 

Answer: To work as a dialysis technician in California, you must take and pass the CDC exam or any of the CMS approved national certification examinations.  You will not be eligible to work as a dialysis technician after April 15, 2010, until you have successfully passed an approved exam and met the other requirements listed in the table above.

Question #6: How many times can I take the CDC exam or any of the CMS approved national certification examinations?

Answer: At this time there are no limits on the number of times that an exam may be taken, with certain restrictions.  You should contact the exam organizations (listed above) directly to obtain the most current information.

Question #7:  I have passed the CDC Exam and currently certified in California. I am planning on moving to another state, will the CDC Exam be accepted in that state?

Answer: NO ~ contact that state directly for current information.

Question #8:  If I pass a National Certification Exam, will I need to maintain that National Certification in order to continue working in California?

Answer: Not in California, but other states may vary.

Question #9:  What if I’m BONENT certified? Can I work in California without taking the California exam?

Answer: You must still meet ALL of the other requirements outlined above in order to work in California.  Only technicians that have been certified by the California Department of Public Health may work in California.

Question #10: What if I don't have a High School Diploma?

Answer:  If you have at least 4 years of work experience, as of October 14, 2008, as a dialysis technician, you may supply evidence of such experience in lieu of a High School Diploma or equivalent.  If you do not have this experience you will need to obtain a High School Diploma or its equivalent, such as the General Education Degree (GED).

Question #11:  What if I can't provide evidence that I successfully completed a training program that meets the requirements?

Answer:  As per the California Business & Professions Code 1247, you must show evidence of completing a California state approved training program.  You may accomplish this at your place of employment or at an approved private training school. OR A person employed as a hemodialysis technician by a California hemodialysis clinic or unit for more than two (2) years as of October 14, 2008, who does not have documentation of having successfully completed a training program, will be in compliance by doing both of the following:
a) Passing a written exam, offered by a hemodialysis clinic or unit, or a community or corporate-based training program; and
b) Passing a skills checklist through observation by a registered nurse

Question #12:  Where can I get course review material?

Answer:  There are a number of resources are listed on page four (4) of our Examination Application Booklet.
An on line version of the Amgen Core Curriculum for the Dialysis Technician is available at: http://www.meiresearch.org/core_curriculum.php. You can also purchase the book: Review of Hemodialysis for Nurses and Dialysis Personnel.

Question #13:  Where can I get a listing of approved training programs/schools?

Answer:  The Hemodialysis Training Programs/Schools are approved by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and they maintain a listing on their web site at: http://www.cdph.ca.gov/services/training/Documents/CertifiedHemodialysisTrainingPrograms.pdf


Question #14:  What are the CEU requirements for renewing my certification and how can I obtain them?

Answer:  The Conditions for Coverage state the below information regarding renewal and CEU requirements:

Section: 1247.63.

 

(a) Certification of a hemodialysis technician issued by the department pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 1247.6 shall be valid for four years.

 

(b) A certified hemodialysis technician applying for renewal of his or her certification shall submit proof that he or she has obtained 30 hours of in-service training or continuing education in dialysis care or general health care as a requirement for the renewal of his or her certification.

(c) An expired certification may be renewed at any time within two years after its expiration on the filing of an application for renewal and documentation of the required in-service education.

(Amended by Stats. 2009, Ch. 559, Sec. 7. Effective October 11, 2009.)

Section: 1247.64.

A hemodialysis technician may obtain the in-service training or continuing education required by subdivision (b) of Section 1247.63 from one or more of the following sources:

(a) Health-related courses offered by accredited postsecondary institutions.

(b) Health-related courses offered by continuing education providers approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing.

(c) Health-related courses offered by recognized health associations if the department determines the courses to be acceptable.

(d) Health-related, employer-sponsored in-service training or continuing education programs.

(Amended by Stats. 2009, Ch. 559, Sec. 8. Effective October 11, 2009.)

Question #15:  How can I view available test dates and times at my nearest testing center?

Answer: Click here to view available test dates and times at a testing center near you.  Select the first option in the dropdown, then select CA Dialysis Council.