National certification

Due to the recent influx of hits this blog has received due to the words “bonent exam” sometimes confused with “bonet exam” which is not the same thing, by the way, I have decided to actually compose a post related to this subject.

I have mentioned it a few times on here, I passed the BONENT exam in February of 08, which wasn’t all that long ago.  I passed with a pretty good score, but I still would hope everyone would take what I have to say with understanding that it is my opinion

With the recent Medicare Conditions of Coverage (all Dialysis peeps should know about this, so I am not explaining it, it takes effect in mid-October of 08) all dialysis technicians have to have a National certification to practice in a dialysis setting.  This is a huge change for many states who did not require their dialysis technicians to have a state ccertification.

Personally, I think this is a huge step forward for the um, profession, yes, I just called it a profession, you want to know why? Because, my dear techs out there, we are responsible for people’s lives.  Yes, we follow MD and RNs orders but ultimately we are the patients first line of care.  We do the needles, we take the blood pressures, we listen to them when they talk to us and most of the time we can spot a change before the nurse does.  I think it is about time we are held responsible for our jobs, er, professions.

National certification will make so that across the board we all have the same knowledge base, every state is going to have techs who are supposed to know the same thing.  This should be comforting to patients and staff alike.  Take for example me, Kim, the person who writes this blog, I moved from California, which requires it’s techs to have a state certification, to Washington state, which has a state certification but is not as, um, hard to get as California’s is.  The state of Washington also has a different scope of practice for its dialysis techs which I mentioned here.

To obtain my certification in Washington was pretty easy, I paid 105 dollars to the state and sent a copy of my BONENT card and a letter from my employer stating I had passed their check off list.  Done, received my Washington Dialysis Technician certificate.  Easy as pie.

I am sure, I just lost half of my peeps who found this blog by typing in “Bonent exam” but if you’ve stuck with me, here is the meat of what you want to here.

Unless you are a chief tech or someone who fixes machines or does a lot of water treatment, I would suggest you not get the BONENT exam.

The BONENT exam is also a bit more expensive then the other’s offered, instead of 150 for the NNCC exam, the BONENT is 200, but it also lasts for 4 years. 

Oh by the way, BONENT stands for Board of Nephrology Examiners Nursing and Technology.

The BONENT exam is harder then the other national exams available.  It relies heavily on water treatment and technical aspects of the job.  It has been suggested by many dialysis institutions to take the exams provided by NANT and ANNA (links to be provided below).

If you don’t know the level of endotoxins that is allowed in dialysis water, or the levels of magnesium allowed in dialysis water then I would suggest you look elsewhere.  I am not, however, discounting this knowledge, I think it is important we all know what we are working with.  It could mean our lively hood and our patients life if we don’t.  I just think there are easier ways to meet the new Conditions of Coverage Medicare is giving us. 

I will also be sitting with my fellow co-workers to take the CCHT exam (Certified Clinical Hemodialysis Technician) because Kim likes alphabet soup behind her name, and it because why not be certified twice?

And the links:

NNCC

BONENT

ANNA

I would also like to know if this helpful for those people searching for answers and how you feel about these changes.  I think building a positive dialysis technician community is helpful and ultimately a useful tool, interesting times are a head of us in the nephrology field.

Kim R, CHT
Seattle, WA

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~ by Kim on September 28, 2008.

8 Responses to “National certification”

  1. Kim,

    Thank you for you opinion. I agree that you should be looked at as professionals, because you are. However, I believe that dialysis techs should also ACT as professionals, which I am sure you do. I am a Registered Nurse who specializes in hemodialysis. I teach students at a local community college to become dialysis technicians. One of the things I emphasize is professionalism. I agree that the certification will promote professionalism in your line of very valuable work. I also want to thank you for the discussion on the different exams. I knew the BONENT

  2. Oops! I accidentally hit the submit comment button before I was finished. I know the BONENT is quite technical. I think this information will be quite helpful to other techs. Thanks again.

  3. Karen –

    You are 100 % correct when you say that to be called professionals we must ACT as them. This is perhaps one of the biggest problems in our sector of healthcare and I am not entirely sure how we can make it better.

    Thank you for comment.

  4. Is there a practice exam out there that does’n cost? I’m currently a student in hemodialysis course in Washington State
    Thanks

  5. […] received a comment from Karen here.  She said this and I had been wanting to talk about it for awhile: “However, I believe that […]

  6. Oh a fellow Washington state hemodialysis tech!

    I, unfortunately, have not found a free practice test, but hopefully your employer will provide something for you and keep looking you never know what may pop up in the coming months.

  7. Hi Kim,

    Your information is very helpful to me. I live in Minnesota and a few months ago we found out we have to become certified. So, we (the techs I work with) have been trying to figure out what is the best way to go with the testing. We were looking at the BONENT because the certification lasted longer and we just had to have CEU’s to keep up the certification. But recently found out the other test you were talking about only has to have CEU’s to keep it up also. We were told we had to retest every 2 years. But if the BONENT is more technical, it may be more difficult to pass. If you have any more information on the differences, please let me know. Thank you for your information! It is much appreciated!

  8. This is very interesting information. I just recently found out about BONENT. I have been studying for my certification and recently saw that BONENT doesn’t rewquire the CEUs and has a longer period for recertification. I have asked around and noone seems to have heard of BONENT or the CHN in North Carolina. Does anyone else have any comments or suggestions?

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