How to get into Dialysis Nursing? - page 2

Hello :-) I'm curious to know how to become a Dialysis Nurse as an RN? What are some of the companies out there that train? How's the demand for it? How rewarding is it? Is there traveling involved?... Read More

  1. by   Farkinott
    The unit I worlk in has new grads all the time. Some thrive whereas others (generally the timid ones), find it a harder row to hoe. Renal units generally are full of "strong" personalities which can be a blessing and a curse. I don't know how support is structured for you in the US but I reckon if you want to do it give it a go. It is going to be a learning curve wherever you go!
    Good luck!
  2. by   nursing04
    Quote from Farkinott
    The unit I worlk in has new grads all the time. Some thrive whereas others (generally the timid ones), find it a harder row to hoe. Renal units generally are full of "strong" personalities which can be a blessing and a curse. I don't know how support is structured for you in the US but I reckon if you want to do it give it a go. It is going to be a learning curve wherever you go!
    Good luck!
    Thank you for your responce. I am definitely not a timid person. I like learning new things and am not afraid to ask questions. Where I have an oppty to interview is not a unit though. It's the actual dialysis facility within the hospital. Do you think this makes it different??
  3. by   Farkinott
    When I say unit I mean the dialysis unit within the larger hospital though thereare a few satellite units attached to the main unit.
  4. by   nursing04
    Quote from Farkinott
    When I say unit I mean the dialysis unit within the larger hospital though thereare a few satellite units attached to the main unit.
    Hi! Thanks for the explanation. Can you tell me more about what dialysis nurses do? Obviously assessments before and after the dialysis. Are you responcible for managing the equipment? Is someone right there if there is a problem? What kinds of skills do you need to do this successfully? Thanks again!!
  5. by   nosonew
    DaVita is the best, literally the best, Dialysis company in the world! I started before KT...and he has made changes (he is CEO) that have been very, very, positive, not only for the patients, but for the teammates!
  6. by   Juanay
    Hi Nursing 04,
    I have been a dialysis nurse for 3 years, 1 year as travel. Dialysis nurses should have a wide variety of knowledge that includes set-up, breakdown, troubleshooting machines. I have worked in units where the tech's setup/breakdown the machines and also where the nurse has 4 machines of her own to turn over during shift change. I have also been in units where the tech's were responsible for all water tx, and in units where the RN is responsible for water tx as it is part of the pt RX.
    Dialysis nurses are responsible for making sure the pt's RX is followed. The nurse does a pre-intra-and post assessment. We are responsible for cannulating, or cath access care. We give meds, calculate for Epo changes per HCT. We call the MD when problems arise, we round with the MD, address DW changes, schedule appt's, check all the machines to make sure the goals, Na, profiling, UF are set appropriately for each pt.
    Usually their is a Biomed person on call and back up machines available in the event one goes down. In the unit I am currently working in there has been a large staff turnover. We have 11 new employees including a new clinic manager. This is a Fresenius unit. I love it here. Everyone has been great. We have 15 machines. Tech's are 5/1 and RN's 10/1 but we usually have 5/1 with the RN's which makes for a less stressful turnover.
    Hope this helps.
    Juanay
  7. by   nosonew
    is stressful but very fulfilling. Dec. will be 6 years for me, and I don't plan a change....

    The larger units are generally more stressful regarding staffing, but there are pro's and con's to both....

    good luck!
  8. by   nursing04
    Quote from Juanay
    Hi Nursing 04,
    Usually their is a Biomed person on call and back up machines available in the event one goes down. In the unit I am currently working in there has been a large staff turnover. We have 11 new employees including a new clinic manager. This is a Fresenius unit. I love it here. Everyone has been great. We have 15 machines. Tech's are 5/1 and RN's 10/1 but we usually have 5/1 with the RN's which makes for a less stressful turnover.
    Hope this helps.
    Juanay
    Thanks for the information Juanay. Interesting info considerring I interviewed w/ Fresenius. But, I decided to take a job in a hospital renal unit first. I feel I will get much needed skills and will have a better idea if I like it. The unit where I will be working we are also responcible for peritoneal dialysis- so, that will be neat and will help me decide if dialysis is for me. Plus, I'm definitely not ready for that 10-1 ratio. Thanks again!
  9. by   Juanay
    Hi Nursing 04,
    Just to let you know, it took me a good 6 months to really feel comfortable with the machines and all of the responsibilities. There is soooo much to learn in dialysis, but once you learn it, it's mostly repitition. Don't give up! We really need some good dialysis nurses. If you like repitition, there's a good chance you'll like dialysis. When I first started I was told "You either love it or you hate it."
    I love dialysis! You have a fairly stable population. If you work chronics most units close every Sunday and no nights.
    Good luck!
    Juanay
  10. by   vortex72
    I got into dialysis through Gambro. They hired me into a chronic clinic(which was 11 months of torture). They gave me excellent training. I left after 11months to take an acute position with another company (Renal Care Group).

    I have a lot of acute experience (ICU,ER) so transitioning to acutes was easy for me. I am now back working for Gambro making GREAT money. The acute program I'm in pays per treatment and on call. I average a flat rate of about 40bucks/hour for sitting on my butt dialyzing ICU patients. Its boring but great if you are in school and need to study.

    Be aware if you work in a chronic clinic that its a VERY busy and tiring job with a lot of issues to deal with like bossy, non-compliant patients, lazy, defiant, and incompetent techs, etc...
  11. by   magg_ot2
    Quote from bloodmonster
    I had 6 months of hell working for an innovative dialysis clinic here in California. Yes, you are right about saying that it depends on the managers. The nurse manager that I worked for did not perform her job well. She really sucks as a nurse manager and should have fired herself.

    Nursing is a tough business and working in a dialysis clinic is no cake walk. Ya have to work with technicians who think they know all the answers while they work under your license. You are ultimately responsible for the outcome of all patient care. You'll work with some awesome techs who really know their jobs and then there's the techs who will make life hell.

    I complained to the nurse manager about a particular tech who was performing clinical actions without my consent. I made the manager aware and she did nothing about it. I saved this company from a lawsuit..Patients could have died..Ultimately, I was the one who was terminated..as the nurse manager blamed me for techs leaving the company. I was the scapegoat when in fact it was the result of her not doing her job.

    When interviewing for such positions you MUST ASK a lot of questions. Make sure you understand the consequences of taking on the team leader position in the dialysis clinic. Make sure the nurse manager is sincere with regard to the way she answers your questions. Honestly, during my initial interview I felt that she was not being completely honest with me. But, at the time, I was desperate to find a job immediately and she wanted to hire me immediately. She was just as desperate as me..DONT BE DESPERATE! Take you time and find the right job. Ask why there is an opening. Is there a high turnover? Chances are if there is..its cuz the management sucks..Best to move on. I later learned that she has a history of firing people and or the nurses left before they were fired. This clinic had gone through 5 nurse in 4 years for the same MWF shift.
    hey there..I'm a dialysis nurse too. and what u said about some issues are true..some techy are really braggy, some aren't. And your feedback regarding being desperate to get a job is an eye opening for me. You are right, we should ask a lot of question and assess well the answer given to us..TY!
  12. by   magg_ot2
    Quote from nursing04
    Hello. I am graduating in September and am looking into getting into dialysis. What do you think of a new grad going into dialysis? Do you think more hands on skills and experience is needed before going into this specialty? Renal is an area that has interested me throughout nursing school, especially dialysis. I have had a company continuously call me to interview which does make me worry that they are desperate- but besides that I do think dialysis is neat and plan on shadowing for a day. Any other suggestions to know whether it is right for me? Thanks for your help!
    Yeah dialysis is neat. i went around the hospital like med-surg, Ob-gyne, NICU..i tried all the areas of nursing that interest me most and finally i'm into dialysis..it helps me a lot learning from other areas as well. Be where ever you are comfortable working and it pays a lot..
  13. by   dialysis manager
    Juanay,
    I am a manager for Fresenius and I am glad that you posted this. I am happy to see that you like dialysis. I think that it is a very rewarding job. I have all types of openings in my area and strive hard to find qualified people to fill the positions. Dialysis is one of those areas that you either like it or you don't and some positions and areas are very hard to fill. Keep up the good work and stay in dialysis because we need more people like you. Also continue to tell people how well you like it and maybe we will get others to come on board.
    Still looking for a few good people!!!!!!




    Quote from Juanay
    Hi Nursing 04,
    I have been a dialysis nurse for 3 years, 1 year as travel. Dialysis nurses should have a wide variety of knowledge that includes set-up, breakdown, troubleshooting machines. I have worked in units where the tech's setup/breakdown the machines and also where the nurse has 4 machines of her own to turn over during shift change. I have also been in units where the tech's were responsible for all water tx, and in units where the RN is responsible for water tx as it is part of the pt RX.
    Dialysis nurses are responsible for making sure the pt's RX is followed. The nurse does a pre-intra-and post assessment. We are responsible for cannulating, or cath access care. We give meds, calculate for Epo changes per HCT. We call the MD when problems arise, we round with the MD, address DW changes, schedule appt's, check all the machines to make sure the goals, Na, profiling, UF are set appropriately for each pt.
    Usually their is a Biomed person on call and back up machines available in the event one goes down. In the unit I am currently working in there has been a large staff turnover. We have 11 new employees including a new clinic manager. This is a Fresenius unit. I love it here. Everyone has been great. We have 15 machines. Tech's are 5/1 and RN's 10/1 but we usually have 5/1 with the RN's which makes for a less stressful turnover.
    Hope this helps.
    Juanay
    Last edit by dialysis manager on Jul 29, '05

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