and it was quite out of the blue. I had applied for a position with them several months ago, but there was a lot of travel involved and on-call hours on top of the full-time hours so I turned down an interview.
Today my phone rang and it was Fresenius wanting to know if I am interested in an inpatient RN position where I would be working in two different hospitals' inpatient dialysis units for Fresenius. It would only be three days a week. I am currently a Med/Surg Tele nurse of 23 years who works on a contingent basis in an internal RN float pool of a large healthcare company but needs to find benefits very soon due to my husband's new employer only covering him and not me or our two kids.
In one way, I am intrigued and flattered that they found me and want me for this position. OTOH, I am nervous that my years of Med/Surg and Cardiac Intermediate nursing will not have prepared me to be a dialysis nurse because I have never worked critical care, although I do have my ACLS certification.
How is Fresenius to work for? Has anyone here done this type of dialysis nursing for an outside company within a hospital setting, and if so, how was it?
Is it hard to learn dialysis nursing? It seems so complicated to me, but I know that all of you had to go through that learning curve at some point. Do you think Med/Surg and Cardiac Intermediate will be an adequate background for learning to be a dialysis nurse?
Lastly, can you list some of the pros and cons of being a dialysis nurse, and more specifically, an inpatient dialysis nurse?
Apr 21, '13
by MJB2010 Guide
Former dialysis nurse here. I worked outpatient chronic but worked with many staff that did both acute inpatient and chronic. From my experience Davita or Fresenius does not define the culture, the manager does. If you have a good manager and good team your golden. Every unit has its own culture. Some good others ugly. If the one they are hiring you for is often hiring, run for the hills. For me all the things I enjoy about dialysis go with chronic. I Like knowing my patients and their history. I like knowing their normal and knowing their fistula/graft. I like having Sundays and Holidays off. I like not working nights. In acute you have to do call. You will not know your patients. You will work nights and weekends. But, you will have a lot less patients at once. In chronic they treat you like a robot. The understaffing and ridiculously long shifts were what lead me to leave, but I really miss my patients.
Your background will be great. But dialysis is a whole nother animal. You will be starting at square 1 and building from there. It takes a minimum of 6 months to a year to feel comfortable. It is completely different than what you are used to. The 2 big dialysis companies have excellent training. My clinic bent some rules that made me uncomfortable, so your manager will play a major role in how much support you have. As a new dialysis nurse you are not supposed to be alone for 6 months after classroom training. My clinic tried to leave me alone my first day out of class. I had to speak up. I found that I had to speak up a lot. But our manager was one that liked to disappear.
You need to ask to shadow before accepting a position. Go see the unit and see f the staff are miserable or happy.
Last edit by MJB2010 on Apr 21, '13