is dialysis less stressful than med surg

  1. I am an rn who graduated 5 months ago and recently left a job in med surg to go into dialysis. Mainly it was because i was hired for nights and couldn't do it anymore. I got hired at a davita clinic and I think i might like it alot more than med surg. I really wasn't happy doing the whole med surg thing. The hours are better and the pay is a bit better too. It seems to be less stressful or am i in for a rude awakeing.
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  2. 20 Comments

  3. by   veetoy
    yup, it definitely is. im only basing my answer on what i've observed in my country, though. dialysis is an entirely different specialty area, but mainly it revolves only around dialysis, and that's it. you prepare the machine, hook 'em up, prime, receive the patient, initiate dialysis, monitor, terminate dialysis, observe the patient, clean up,and you're done. of course, it takes skill to be a good renal therapist, but compared to the hustle and bustle of the med-surg floor, it definitely is less stressful in dialysis. also, nurseatient ratio is 1:1.

    good luck.
  4. by   traumaRUs
    Dialysis ratios are much better in the tropics! I work in two Fresenius clinics and the nurse ratio is 1 nurse to up to 16 patients!!!!
  5. by   Lacie
    Quote from traumaRUs
    Dialysis ratios are much better in the tropics! I work in two Fresenius clinics and the nurse ratio is 1 nurse to up to 16 patients!!!!
    I'm usually the only nurse with 3 pct's to 14 pts. Our clinic runs 3 shifts and work 5am till the last pt leaves. I'm never out by 6pm and in fact was there the night before until 9:30pm due to a pt continued to bleed post tx and had to be back at 5am the next morning. But it is less stressful then med/surg. I worked critical care and er for 20 years and never ran my buns off as much as I do now in dialysis. At least in the units I got to sit down to chart for a few here and there, where as in dialysis. I get my first break after I've been there for already over 8 hours and there is no sitting down. I may get lucky now and then to sit to throw some orders in the computer.
  6. by   BoredLPN
    I use to work in a large chronic unit...48 stations. Its craaazzy. In/out.....very stressful and I felt pressured to get them off and put the next one on. Ratios are 4 pts to 1 tech...12 pts to 1 nurse 4 shifts of patients. Very hectic.

    I transfered to acute...much better 2 pt to 1 nurse or 5 pts to two nurses. If you get sent to the unit (med surg, tele, ICU, etc...) its 1 on 1.
  7. by   AmyLiz
    It depends on your unit. I work at a 24 chair chronic outpatient unit as a tech (graduating from nursing school this fall) & it can be quite stressful. A couple friends of mine work at a different outpatient unit & say it's really laid back usually...it just depends on the unit & the acuity of the patients.
  8. by   southerngirl67
    It is very dependent on the unit that you are working at.
  9. by   DeLana_RN
    Quote from lillady1225
    I am an rn who graduated 5 months ago and recently left a job in med surg to go into dialysis. Mainly it was because i was hired for nights and couldn't do it anymore. I got hired at a davita clinic and I think i might like it alot more than med surg. I really wasn't happy doing the whole med surg thing. The hours are better and the pay is a bit better too. It seems to be less stressful or am i in for a rude awakeing.
    My first jobs in med/surg and stepdown were a nightmare... and chronic dialysis was therefore better. But I hated the hours, I'm not a morning person and getting up at 4:00 a.m. just about did me in... never got used to it. If that's not a problem for you, you have an advantage.

    As pp have said, a lot depends on our company and even unit. In some places, nurses have to run their own patients and supervise PCTs, do all assessments, give all meds including heparin*, etc. That's how mine was, and it was very difficult. But I liked the chronic pts (well, most of them anyway), getting to know them, etc. But when the company added mandatory call for RNs (i.e., changed the rules after 5 years), it was time for me to go.

    And I found something better, the ideal situation IMO: acute (hospital) dialysis. Our ratio is typically 1:1; during breaktime, it may go to 1:2 (but never if we dialyze a pt in an ICU or the ER). We get breaks, we get to sit down, and have the time and resources to provide quality patient care. And we still get to do a lot of what other hospital nurses do, therefore keeping our skills current. (Yes, some call is required, but I knew that from the start and agreed to it.)

    Once you have chronic dialysis experience, you might want to look into acutes. Many of us haven't been able to leave the field of dialysis - I guess it got into our blood And no, I have no desire to return to med/surg - ever!!!

    DeLana

    *You may be surprised to learn that some states allow PCTs - yes, UAPs - to give heparin in dialysis clinics. But if yours, like mine, doesn't, then you as the RN has to do this for the PCTs' patients, which can be difficult during turnover - especially if you're also running your own patients.
    Last edit by DeLana_RN on Jun 15, '07
  10. by   latrinidad
    DeLana, I'm looking for a dialysis job. Would you know of any in CA? Much obliged. Thank you. latrinidad
  11. by   Natkat
    There are pros and cons to both. I work as a PCT while I'm in nursing school and frankly I'm sick of dialysis. I, too, never got used to getting up at 4 a.m. I'm mad at the world until I get some coffee on board, then by the time the patient's start coming in I feel like talking.

    And turn-around time is ridiculous - taking patient's off and trying to set up and test new machines, and put new patients on when the patients who are getting ready to leave are at their most unstable. It feels like drudgery to me. I might give acute dialysis a try once I graduate. From what I've just read it sounds okay. Might even travel.

    I think dialysis is a nice change from med-surg. But then I'm of the opinion that ANYTHING is better than med-surg.
  12. by   PLTSGT
    This question is something I always discuss with my fellow RNs who are in dialysis nursing for many years but no experience in other fields as well as with PCTs who are in nursing school. Yup, I think dialysis is easier than med surg. My fellow nurses always complain on how things are "getting worse and worst" but I just sit back and remember my experience working as a medsurg/ICU nurse and smile thinking, "This is a breeze."
    Last edit by PLTSGT on Dec 4, '07
  13. by   Lacie
    Quote from PLTSGT
    This question is something I always discuss with my fellow RNs who are in dialysis nursing for many years but no experience in other fields as well as with PCTs who are in nursing school. Yup, I think dialysis is easier than med surg. My fellow nurses always complain on how things are "getting worse and worse" but I just sit back and remember my experience working as a medsurg/ICU nurse and smile thinking, "This is a breeze."
    I agree with the exception of the "footwork" in chronics. I worked open heart/trauma and burns for over 20 years and find I am stagnating in chronics. I feel more that I'm running an assembly line rather than actually utilizing what I have to offer. More tunnel vision that any other area I have worked. I value my assessments skills and realize not everything is due to "low b/p" or "they just need thier tx".
  14. by   PLTSGT
    Quote from Lacie
    I agree with the exception of the "footwork" in chronics. I worked open heart/trauma and burns for over 20 years and find I am stagnating in chronics. I feel more that I'm running an assembly line rather than actually utilizing what I have to offer. More tunnel vision that any other area I have worked. I value my assessments skills and realize not everything is due to "low b/p" or "they just need thier tx".

    Lacie, I have to agree with what you mentioned. Dialysis can definitely get busy especially during turnovers but nothing compared with a typical med surg floor. If my colleagues just go out and do a part time in M/S, they will appreciate more of the down time they have in dialysis.

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