- For individuals with end-stage kidney disease, dialysis is a life-saving operation. When the kidneys stop working properly, dialysis clears the waste and keeps the body’s chemicals balanced. This procedure, which comprises a prosthetic kidney (hemodialysis) or an abdominal catheter that permits blood to be cleaned inside the body, is overseen by dialysis nurses (peritoneal dialysis).
- Dialysis nurses provide hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis to patients with kidney disease. Dialysis effectively duplicates the operations of the patient’s kidneys, controlling the blood and removing excess water, salt, and waste from the body. These skilled nurses, in addition to doing dialysis, also:
- Educate patients and families about kidney disease and treatment plans
- Record patients’ medical data
- Assess patients’ prior treatments
- Monitor patients for any negative dialysis reactions
- Manage fluid and electrolyte balance
- Communicate this information to doctors, in case the patient needs a different treatment
- Ability to operate medical equipment (specifically, a dialysis machine)
- Communication abilities
- Attention to detail
Benefits of Working as a Dialysis Nurse
- Being a dialysis nurse allows you to develop relationships with patients because you see them regularly throughout the week.
- Dialysis nurses, like other registered nurses, have a bright future ahead of them. Patients require dialysis therapy as they grow older.
- Opportunities for progress in your career. With a master’s degree and a dialysis focus, you can work as an advanced practice nurse.
- As part of their employment, some dialysis nurses travel.
- Dialysis nurses, particularly those in acute care, may work long hours.
- Dialysis nurses, like many other healthcare professionals, may experience burnout, especially when dealing with the emotional weariness of working with terminally ill patients.
- While on call, some dialysis nurses must go into the hospital or facility, especially if the healthcare center only has a few dialysis nurses.