New dialysis nurse in training

  1. Just started as a dialysis nurse. And as a nurse in general. Two weeks since I started. While first week was only computer now I learn to work on the floor as a pct for a first month and then the nursing part will start as well.

    Last week my preceptor showed me how to set up a dialysis machine himself, and then moving on to another machine during turn over asked me to set that one myself, which I didn't do that well. So I asked him to walk me through the process while I am doing it, which helped me much better then just observing him. it was three days (that I worked that week) on the floor, the last day I felt like I did much better at setting up/priming the machines. I am also very anxious about everything and feel pretty overwhelmed, for there is still so much new info to learn. But today the nurse told me that I am being too slow, and the preceptor cannot move on to another tasks cause I am not good at priming the machine I really thought it was the matter of practice. I tried to work faster today but then I make pretty silly mistakes. So it is just really discouraging.

    For those who once were new to dialysis, how much time did it take for you to learn the machine and work at a normal pace. And how did the learning go in general?
  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   ellenp
    I'm new also to the area. Be patient with yourself and you'll make less mistakes. I know what you're going through. It's going to get better.
  4. by   GeauxNursing
    You have to be patient with yourself. Everybody learns at a different pace. It can be very anxiety causing when you are expected to set up a machine during turn over. Do they not have machines in the biomed office that you could practice on? Seasoned techs and nurses on the floor can forget what it's like to be a new person. They will try to rush you as much as possible, but you have to say if you are not comfortable yet. All you can do is keep practicing everyday. It will become second nature, I promise you.
  5. by   Maizie118
    Oh my gosh how can you possibly be expected to be comfortable stringing a machine after 3 days??? Dialysis is a precise practice imo, so you need to be proficient in setting up one machine before you can even think about two.
    When I first started (1 year, 3 mos) I was told by each and every nurse there that it would take about a year to feel comfortable/confident. I have been on my own (without my preceptor) for 13 months and I can tell you that they were absolutely correct. These machines (ours is Phoenix) can be super complicated it seems but once you learn why certain lines go where it makes life so much easier, at least for me. This takes time and it's not fair that your preceptor is getting frustrated with you so early. Advocate for yourself... dialysis is very taxing on a person and seasoned nurses/techs are so used to the effects that it's like a no-brainer to them. Like a previous commenter said... they can forget what it was like to be new. It's overwhelming! Stick with it, be kind to yourself, and you'll get there, I promise!
  6. by   TouchingAllOceans
    In the same boat as you. New RN, new to dialysis, about a month and a half without a preceptor on the floor. During turnover I want to jump out the window. They say it takes time to feel comfortable. As other posters have said, we must be patient with ourselves. Sometimes when I'm waiting for a blood pressure to take I close my eyes, deep breathe, and try to remember what someone told me: This place isn't machinery, it's people's lives. So if you're going slow - you're protecting others - and yourself. It'll be okay.
  7. by   Maizie118
    TouchingAllOceans, yes, you're absolutely correct... be kind and patient with yourself. I promise you it will get easier.
    A wise charge nurse told me once "everyone will get on the machine, and everyone will get off of the machine." Meaning it's all ok, if it takes you a bit longer with someone, it's ok. The treatment will come and go, and they'll go home and so will you. Take your time and allow yourself the time to learn. Good job guys. Stick with it.
  8. by   AlabamaBelle
    It takes repetition to learn to string the machine. One day, you'll see you've done it without thinking about it. No way you'll get in the very short time frame you mentioned.

    I'd also suggest you read the machine's manual. We have Fresenius 2008K and I decided to ready the manual. Some of the biomed/tech stuff was difficult, but the actual set up and what does what was very informative. I also got to spend some time with an excellent BioMed tech.

    As others have said, breathe. Don't forget to breathe. Everyone will get on and everyone will get off the machine. Some days will always be better than others. Be gentle with yourself during this learning time. You will get there!