I'm an LVN at a chronic dialysis unit. I take a 4-patient assignment everyday. I am responsible for machine setup, pre-and post- pt assessment, hooking pts up to the machine, monitoring vitals, d/Cing tx, then setting up for another shift x3 every day.
I work my butt off all day. 12+ hour shifts. Davita and FMC will train you fully, at least 10 weeks of classroom and shadowing and on-the-floor training with a preceptor. (At least at Davita)
I was a PCT for 4 years before I got my license so it was an easy transition for me. For outsiders, esp. new nurses it can be a lot to take in.
This isn't a "nurse's station" nurse job, you WORK. And no offense to anyone, y'all know what I mean.
some of my duties:
hauling heavy bicarb jugs around
lifting and/or repositioning pts who can't do it themselves
keeping track of scheduled labs for all pts
paging the doc when someone spikes a fever or has chest pain or a clotted access
making appts for pts with whichever doc/consult their nephrologists deem necessary
continuous education about diet and fluid restriction to ppl who don't understand, can't hear, can't speak english, or just don't care.
document, document, document!
adhere to VERY strict infection control policies
sticking new fistulas and grafts with needles, while trying to keep the pt still, while explaining how important it is to NOT MOVE your arm! please
mixing bicarb, keeping up with daily water checks
managing pt complaints about their neighbor in the chair whose TV is too loud,
managing pt's family complaints
managing pts family
giving IV meds and antibiotics
calculating fluid goal, keeping in mind docs order, pts tendency to drop BP or cramp, the 2 bottles of water hiding in pts bag, etc.
troubleshooting the dialysis machine. high TMP?? What?? No, there is NO BLOOD LEAK! haha
boxing up large bags of biohazard waste
sitting in one position for 20 minutes with cramped up fingers trying to get pt to stop bleeding.
it's cool. But I don't think I'm a lifer. I'll be out after I finish RN bridge.