Be a renal nurse and not work a day in your life

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    Boring and very routinely, prolongs but never save lives. Is this true that renal nursing is such? NO, NEVER, this article will prove those who thinks that way wrong. This article is a story of a renal patient finding happiness and home at the four corners of the hemodialysis unit.

    "I've never been this happy." As said by a patient given love and care by his dialysis nurse. a phrase that will tickle any ear specially if heard from a man, a father, very weak, on hemodialysis for 2 years but knows he may die anytime even if he sits on a lazy-boy chair for hours with his blood out for cleaning.

    He used to work at a company with a managerial position. Being the best, all his recommendations was accepted including all of his children being given the opportunity to work in the same company. they all became as successful as he was. But when he got sick, and weak, all of his children left him. Worse, he was diagnosed with end stage renal disease and underwent hemodialysis. The old successful, proud man and father became lonely, weak and alone.

    I am a renal nurse. I am dealing with hemodialysis clients every day of my life. The story of this patient is just one among the many. They say it is a very routinely job, they say it never save lives making it dull and boring. Everybody knows that without transplant a patient needs dialysis to prolong life, to stay alive. We keep them alive therefore we save lives. They come for dialysis on a very regular basis. Too regular our hearts get broken too when they leave, we listen to their agony and we celebrate with them on a successful transplant. I agree its a routine because we care on a routinely basis. However, in my opinion, a renal nurse for five years, it was never boring. Caring was never boring. I have seen critical patients dyspneic and edematous, even the worse of the worse but slowly getting better through dialysis and getting stronger for transplant. Yes, some did not make it. It goes for all of us too. Sick or well one thing is a common permanent end, death. The key to a successful job is to love it and never work a day in your life.

    It is true that health personnel have boundaries in patient-nurse/doctor relationship. But it is also a fact that we should not treat our patients as a bed number or a laboratory result. they have names, they have feelings. Renal patients are seen most by renal nurses making them attached and involved with each other. Some, even treat each other as family. As long as professionalism and equality is practiced at all times, to care and to love will never be a sin.

    The patient describes hemodialysis center as his home. He visits the staff and other patients even not on scheduled treatment days. He said he found new friends in there and the atmosphere reminded him of what it is like to be taken care of even by strangers, he calls family now.

    "I've never been this happy." with tears the patient told renal nurses and doctors on a speech at a christmas party for patients and staff of the hemodialysis center. it is a week before he died.
    Last edit by Joe V on Jun 5, '13

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  2. Poll: Is being a renal nurse fulfilling for you?

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    • All participants and their votes will be visible to the public.
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    About abbyrenalRN

    Im a renal nurse. my mother is a renal nurse and my father a renal patient. making renal, my life.

    Joined Jun '13; Posts: 20; Likes: 11.

    Read more articles from abbyrenalRN

    17 Comments so far...

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    For a second, I thought that said "real" nurse...then I saw all the dialysis talk and figured it out

    You're spot on: if you truly enjoy what you do at work, you'll never be working. Nice article.
    born2circulateRN and anie10 like this.
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    Thank you for sharing your story and his. I choose to become a nurse, not work as a nurse and I want to always remember that.

    I'm sorry that my cat voted on your poll; she loves to sit on my laptop. She has no experience as a renal nurse, so just ignore her butting in.
  6. 0
    Sorry, ignore my vote...I didn't pay attention to the question.
  7. 0
    Interesting! I find nephrology/dialysis pretty fascinating, but I've heard dialysis is a very stressful area to work. I have heard there are frequent codes/emergencies and the dialysis centers are often understaffed. Will be interested to see the results and comments.
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    I love being a renal nurse!
    Melodies of Legend likes this.
  9. 0
    I am still fairly new to the whole process, but I do love my patients... so I voted as being "quite fulfilled"...
  10. 0
    Thank you for posting this. I am interested in the area of dialysis.
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    Very fulfilling when you make that connection with a patient and they thank you for caring. Unfulfilling when a nurse who is not in dialysis makes the comment "you're just a dialysis nurse". If Rodney Dangerfield were a nurse instead of a comedian he would have been a dialysis nurse. No respect.
    carolinapooh likes this.
  12. 0
    Quote from Chisca
    Very fulfilling when you make that connection with a patient and they thank you for caring. Unfulfilling when a nurse who is not in dialysis makes the comment "you're just a dialysis nurse". If Rodney Dangerfield were a nurse instead of a comedian he would have been a dialysis nurse. No respect.
    Unfortunately, almost every specialty gets tagged, "just a..." by someone. Just a dialysis nurse, just a LTC nurse, just a psych nurse, just a L&D nurse, just a school nurse, just a med-surg nurse, and so on. As long as you are happy with what you do, don't waste your time on the detractors--they are not worth it.

    I've thought about trying dialysis. A few of my classmates went into it and they really enjoy the specialty.
    Last edit by Meriwhen on Jun 6, '13 : Reason: wrong word

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