When you step back and take a bird’s eye view of the pandemic, it’s amazing how differently people’s lives are affected. There are young people who are relatively low risk individuals with little worry. Others have office jobs who maybe now have to work from home but are otherwise unaffected. Then there are those who continue to work and go about their lives as if nothing is going on. Some states are on full stay at home order, while others barely have taken any safety precautions. But, across the country there is one vulnerable group of people who have no choice but to take caution. Dialysis patients and the technicians who care for them are experiencing a unprecedented list of struggles. Let’s deep dive into dialysis techs and COVID-19.
The Struggle for Dialysis Techs and COVID-19
The biggest struggle for dialysis techs during COVID-19 is that the patients they care for are one of the most high-risk populations during this pandemic. Most of them are older patients, more than 60 years of age, who have diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. Yet, dialysis patients do not have the luxury of staying home or quarantining. They need their treatment every several times a week to survive – even if they are exposed to the virus.
This means that between the staff coming and going from these outpatient centers, as well as the dialysis patients and their families, there is lots of potential for exposure and spread of the virus. For dialysis techs, when your patients have to come but they may be infected, what do you do?
Many outpatient facilities are sending symptomatic patients directly to the hospital. However, when hospitals are full and can’t handle the extra patient load, outpatient facilities are forced to continue their care. This means having to separate systematic patients from nonsystematic ones, creating different units. This also means rotating out dialysis techs as they also become exposed and sick.
The Increase of Dialysis Techs and COVID-19
For all of these reasons, we’ve seen a drastic increase in job listings for dialysis techs and COVID-19. These allied travel jobs increased in demand by 38% from February to March when the virus first started spreading in the United States. As the amount of new cases continue to rise and fall in different parts of the country, we imagine this will directly affect the increase and decrease in job demand for dialysis techs going forward.
Dialysis Techs and COVID-19 | Ways to Stay Safe
So, what can dialysis techs do to protect themselves and their patients?
- Follow CDC and WHO guidelines at work and when you are not at work.
- Avoid spending time with large groups of people where you’re at an increased risk of exposure – and taking the virus to your work.
- Wash your hands frequently at home and at work, and wear a mask when you are in public.
- Wash your work clothes often and try to avoid cross contamination between home and at work.
- Make sure everyone at your house understands the risk your patients face, and your collective role in protecting them.
Dialysis Techs and COVID-19 | The Job Search
Are you a dialysis tech who is currently looking for a travel position? We have plenty of job listings available right now, and the application process is super easy! All you have to do is fill out some basic information, and agencies and recruiters will contact you with positions that you match with!
What other struggles or concerns do you have for dialysis techs and COVID-19? Share them with us in the comments below!