Besides the satisfaction of helping patients with end-stage renal failure, you enjoy annual perks to the tune of $75,820, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, you’ll have to put in the effort, time, and, more importantly, unwavering zeal to succeed in this field. In this article, we take a peek into the daily life of a dialysis nurse.
A Glimpse of a Typical Day as a Dialysis Nurse
Generally speaking, a certified dialysis nurse is responsible for handling patients with kidney problems. However, a typical day in the life of a nephrology nurse can vary significantly based on the environment, and the patient one is serving. For instance, providing care to patients in chronic, acute, and peritoneal units is not the same. Each unit is unique and requires a different level of effort, commitment, and skill. Similarly, you may be required to work as an educator, advocate, facilitator, mentor, or caregiver, depending on the patient’s condition. Also, the care and support given in-home dialysis, outpatient dialysis, and inpatient hospital dialysis may vary widely.
Overall, the duties and responsibilities of nephrology nurses include:
- Checking the patient’s symptoms and assessing the severity of their condition
- Reviewing patients’ lab tests, home activities and medications
- Educating patients about their condition, treatments and helping them to make lifestyle choices that will aid in recovery
- Providing dialysis nursing care to patients with kidney diseases
- Performing dialysis to filter waste products and toxic substances from the blood
- Maintaining and managing dialysis machines, systems, and equipment.
- Instructing and counseling patients and their families on dialysis nursing care issues
- Monitoring patient response to treatment interventions
- Administering medications as prescribed by physicians or nephrologists
- Collaborating with the entire nephrology team in delivering care in a considerate, respectful manner
- Ensuring comfort to patients while executing the above dialysis nurse functions
Working Environment and Conditions
Being in the first line of defense for patients experiencing varying levels of kidney problems, a certified dialysis nurse can spend their day providing care in virtually any place. From the hospital, physician’s office, dialysis unit, nursing home, prison, or even university. Because patients need round-the-clock care, working hours are not limited to day shifts. Sometimes you may have to work at night, over the weekends, or during holidays.
Fulfilling as it is, working as a dialysis nurse is not for the faint-hearted. It’s a challenging psychological and physical task. Perhaps, this is because patients who undergo this procedure often include those with severe disorders that lead to sudden kidney failure. Medication reactions, poisons, burns, severe trauma, severe infections, and other diseases that reduce blood flow to the kidneys can all cause the kidneys to shut down suddenly. They might also be suffering from other health conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, or psychiatric condition. For that reason, your everyday job will entail providing emotional support to patients without crossing professional boundaries. You’ll also have to maintain appropriate relationships with people related to your patients. On top of that, you’ll have to spend most of your time standing for long periods, walking, or adjusting body position to stoop or bend.
Are You Looking for Dialysis Nurse Jobs?
Are you working to become a dialysis nurse or already one? Choose New Directions to help you along your journey and kick off a fantastic career as a nephrology nurse. Apply with us today!