The Certified Clinical Hemodialysis Technician (CCHT) exam is delivered by the Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission (NNCC) and is designed to evaluate and acknowledge your knowledge, skills, and abilities in a clinical environment. Certification is required by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for dialysis technicians.
Am I eligible to take the certification exam?
Before you can register for the certification exam, you need to meet the eligibility requirements. Basic eligibility includes a high school diploma or equivalent, and completion of a training program that includes both classroom instruction and supervised clinical experience. Additional requirements include employment as a clinical hemodialysis technician during the past 18 months or proof of training or hands-on experience if you are unemployed.
Additionally, you need to be in compliance with the regulations governing the practice of hemodialysis patient care technicians and meet the training and experience requirements in your state.
What can I expect on the exam?
The certification exam is offered as a computer-delivered exam or paper-based exam. When you complete your application to test, select the method of delivery that best suits you. Both methods consist of 150 multiple-choice questions, and you have three hours to complete the exam.
You can expect a thorough examination of your knowledge in providing care to patients receiving hemodialysis treatments. Within the exam are two dimensions of care that are tested – Dialysis Practice and Cognitive Levels. The Dialysis Practice dimension examines your knowledge of clinical, technical, environmental, and role responsibilities as a certified clinical hemodialysis technician. The cognitive levels include knowledge, comprehension, and application.
In a nutshell, each question is developed to assess your clinical knowledge and your ability to take that knowledge and apply it in a real-world situation. Let’s break down each dimension:
- Clinical – 50% of the exam
You will encounter questions that deal with patient care before, during, and after dialysis treatment.
- Technical – 23% of the exam
This section deals with principles of water treatment, and actions you take in response to alarms and machine-related problems.
- Environmental – 15% of the exam
Your knowledge of infection control and related safety issues in a dialysis setting is tested in this section. Topics include chemical spills, transfer of patients, and the utilization of body mechanics to avoid injury.
- Role Responsibilities – 12% of the exam
Your ability to communicate and interact with patients and staff of the dialysis facility is examined in this section. Skills tested include maintaining confidentiality and professional caregiver/patient relationships, the use of appropriate communication techniques with staff and patients, and identifying the roles and responsibilities of care-team members.
Each question from the dimension topic fits into one of the cognitive areas. Each question tests your ability to recall, comprehend, and apply the knowledge and experience you’ve gained in a clinical environment.
To pass the exam and obtain certification, you need to achieve a score of 74%.
I’m ready. How do I register for the exam?
You first have to receive permission from NNCC to sit for the examination. To apply for permission, download the Certification Examination Application from NNCC’s website and follow the directions in the packet. Select your test delivery method (computer or paper), gather the required documentation, complete the forms, and mail with your $225.00 exam fee to NNCC. The fee can be paid by money order, cashier’s check, corporate/facility check, or credit card. Keep a copy of your application for your records.
When your application is approved, the Center for Nursing Education and Testing (C-Net) mails you your examination permit. Follow the directions on the permit to register for the examination. Your examination permit is valid for 90 days. If you do not register within the time period, your permit to test expires and you will have to reapply.
If you do not receive the permit six to eight weeks after mailing your application, contact C-Net.
Where will I take the exam?
Both test delivery methods are at C-Net testing facilities. Location of the facility is provided when you register to take the exam. Facilities are located nationwide.
It’s test day. What can I expect?
When you arrive at the testing center, present your examination permit and government-issued identification with your photograph. Personal items are not allowed, including cell phones. At your testing station, you will either work on the computer-based test or the paper-based test. Regardless of method, you have three hours to complete the exam.
When you are finished, and if time remains, check your work. Instead of leaving a question unanswered, make an educated guess. There is no penalty for incorrect responses. If you take the computer examination, your score is available immediately. If you take the paper examination, notification of your test score will arrive in the mail within four to six weeks.
How is my score calculated?
The total number of correct answers generates your raw score. Your raw score is converted to a scaled, or weighted, score. The weight of the question is determined by the difficulty of the skill, task or knowledge tested. Your scaled score is reported as the standard score on your score report. Your score summarizes your performance across the four areas of dialysis.
A passing score is 74%. If you did not pass the exam, a breakdown of your scores is provided to assist your preparation for re-examination.
How Can I Prepare for the CCHT Exam?
That’s a great question. We’ve broken down the answer into three parts.
- Do yourself a favor and study. Do not walk in unprepared. We have recommended prep materials below, but that only helps if you actually try. Plus, studying is actually proven to be the best antidote to test anxiety.
- Take care of yourself. Make sure you’re eating well, exercising, and sleeping. All of these things are scientifically linked to brain performance. If you take care of your body, you’ll be helping your grades.
- Get a study guide, online course, or set of flashcards. Some people study better a certain way. Find your study strengths and make the most of them. We’ve tried to make it easy for you by tracking down the best study guide, online course, and flashcard set for your exam. Below you’ll see links to all three!