""Why/how did you decide to become a dialysis nurse...and what are the pro's &

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    cons??"" There is a small dialysis center is a strip mall very close to where I live....Every time I drive past it, I think , "I should look into becoming a dialysis nurse"". But, I don't know what is required...I have many years ICU background....so, How did you get into it? What are the advantages? Do any of you work in an isolated area like the strip mall, where, e.g., if a pt. gets into trouble, you cannot very well call a code...so, is it really uncommon for pt.'s to get into trouble?
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    If you are intereseted in a dialysis position you should go and apply for one.. As an ICU nurse you would practically be given the position.. And it is a demanding position, You will have to use all the critical skills you have and some you didn't know you possessed... Dialysis is like long term care because you see the same people over and over.. But it is different because these people do get "better" NO they are not cured although rarely one of them will regain function.. You get to interact with them on a more personal level.. How are the grandkids doing, you going to FLA this winter we'll see ya in the summer, your wife is the best cook in 40 counties, thanks for the flowers your garden must be beautiful... And we do have a code cart, a phone to dial 911, and we are ACLS certified....So check it out hope you find it as rewarding as I have.....
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    It was >10 years ago when I was working in an acute medical ward. It was government hospital. There was 50 beds but accomodating 50->100 patients. Thanks to the magical canvas beds. There were more than 20 admissions every shift. Tons of work for the newly admitted and endless daily routine for the rest. Things that were beyond any one's imagination happened there. It's fun but busy and stressful. I decided to leave and signed up for whatever courses available. This is the etiology.

    I was not one of the favourite prodigy in the center. But the charge nurse taught me a lot through scolding of course. I learned bit by bit from the tank to the drain, screw-driver and hammer and..... . I like the job very much. The patient-nurse relationship is much closer here in dialysis center. We know their husbands, wives, children, their jobs and their problems well. Most of us become friends.

    Code blue is not common amongst chronic patients. They are usually sent to hospitals if we sensed any problem. But things just happen. Nurses are given much autonomy to decide what to do when the physian is not available. So staff with ICU experience will handled the situation more efficiently and confidently. In fact many renal nurses are formerly ICU nurses.
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    I feel such a need to reply to anyone out here contemplating a change in careers??? I started working as a nursing assistant in 1977 and continued working in nursing homes until the age of 29 when I received a job at a major hospital in Muncie.. I worked on a med-surg floor for approx 6 mos and then went to ER as a tech for 8 years. I decided at the age of 29 to go to school to become a RN. I immediately went into homecare after graduation and became a homecare nurse for approx 1 yr. After this I was introduced into IV homecare and then into case management. Because of changes made in our offices over the years decided I needed a change... A position was offered at our OP Hemodialysis unit through the same organization and I decided to apply?????? Not sure if I was doing the right thing?? But I have always believed "If it is meant to be it will be" I was offered a position and 3 months of training... I decided to go for this because I honestly thought if it does not work out oh well I would be off for the holidays... After 3 months I was approached by the boss and asked to apply for Clinical Manager for a new unit that was to open in approx 1 yr. I do not believe I would have ever tried to go into dialysis had the hours not been right for me but I still continue every day to Thank God for leading me somehow to this strange occupation I assure you I would have never choose for myself....Yes, dialysis is very different than anything you have and will ever know....But I can promise you all you have to do is show up and bring a smile which I promise will touch your life and someone else's FOREVER!!!!!!!
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    I sort of "fell" into dialysis too.. I had just taken a new position at a medical center and the unit I was working on was being remodeled and so was I..I was in the process of a divorce... When the unit was remodeled the staff was "farmed out" to other med/surg units. I ended up on the renal floor.. And fell in love.. I guess God knew I needed some extra love right about then.. See, I am a fatalist also, except I am an optimistic fatalist... I believe that God has a plan for us if we will mind our own business and let that plan unfold.... And the rest is history as they say... Glad to see that you love dialysis as much as I do.. I may not be making the big bucks and have a fancy car and lots of toys. BUT . The best things in life are not things.....One thing I can say is that I don't dread going to work every day...

    bobbi

    May the sun shine brightly on you, in peace, and may the wind be always at your back or something like that.....

    Remember that God created men with a penis and a brian, unfotunately he didn't give them enough blood to run both at the same time.. Robin Williams on Clinton/Lewinsky
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    Hi, I was an OR nurse for 15 years. I had come accross renal patient's for transplants, access surgery etc but knew nothing about renal diseases, so I decided to apply for a postgraduate renal nursing course that my hospital/university ran. My friends in the OR unit thought I was mad.
    I spent time in the renal ward, the PD unit, & the haemo unit. I also had a rotation to a satellite haemodialysis unit. I loved all of it. I loved the continuity of the patient population.
    I am now working in a 12 station satellite unit and it is the most rewarding nursing I have ever done. I don't know why it took me 15 years to decide to leave theatre to come to dialysis.
    Take the plunge, you will love it.
    PS We advertised for 2 postitions, and had 10 applicants, the 2 who were successful had ICU backgrounds.
    Good luck
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    Originally posted by 3651bht
    If you are intereseted in a dialysis position you should go and apply for one.. As an ICU nurse you would practically be given the position.. And it is a demanding position, You will have to use all the critical skills you have and some you didn't know you possessed... Dialysis is like long term care because you see the same people over and over.. But it is different because these people do get "better" NO they are not cured although rarely one of them will regain function.. You get to interact with them on a more personal level.. How are the grandkids doing, you going to FLA this winter we'll see ya in the summer, your wife is the best cook in 40 counties, thanks for the flowers your garden must be beautiful... And we do have a code cart, a phone to dial 911, and we are ACLS certified....So check it out hope you find it as rewarding as I have.....
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    My Father was a dialysis patient for a year and a half before his death. I wasn't a nurse at that point but I can remember how terrified my family was at what was happening to him. He had wonderful nurses and techs at his outpatient center and I told myself I'd like to try it one day. I started LPN school 4 months after his death and worked in a LTC for a few years while going to school for my ADN. I saw an ad for a dialysis nurse (RN and experience preferred) but somehow talked that manager into hiring me and giving me a chance. She had told me that There were two things about dialysis...I would either love it or hate it. I worked as an LPN at that clinic for a year then I burned out primarily due to lack of staff and all of the extra responsibilities that were given to me. It took me away from the patients and stuck my nose in the charts. I took my RN boards a month after I left and with RN license in hand, I went to work at a local hospital on a telemetry unit. That lasted 3 months. I really missed dialysis. I went back to work at that same clinic five months after I left the first time. There were days when I was the only nurse in the house. Fortunately, the techs that worked with me all had 10+ years experience and were all exceptional and caring people but the lack of licensed staff wore me down again. I now work at another outpatient clinic and when I took the job I was extremely happy to be "just a floor nurse" instead of charge. 3 months later the charge nurse left to take care of her mother and the position was offered to me. I didn't even hesitate to answer "yes". As silly as it sounds, Dialysis is in my blood (pardon the pun). It is the most rewarding and satisfying career while at the same time pushing me to my limits and challenging every inch of nurse in me. My old boss was right and there are days when I ask myself "why do I love this?" Three years later the answer is simple...It is a continual learning process. I aquire new skills and knowledge on a daily basis. I have a lot of autonomy in my position. I love the interaction with the patients (most of the time). I work with a great staff, have a supportive clinic manager and know that I am in demand no matter where I live. After 3 years, I still consider myself new to dialysis nursing. I'm 36 years old and wish I would have started this career long ago. I advise any nurse to at least try it. As my old boss said...you'll either love it or hate it. There really is no in between.
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    Agree 100% Kelly ! You either love it or you hate it.

    I love it ! Been at my clinic over 5 yrs. now and have never been happier. Started as a tech (still am) but am getting ready to take my NCLEX RN hopefully by Christmas.

    I think the best thing to do is stop by a few clinics, talk to the DON and ask permission to "hang out" a few days here and there.. talk with some of the patients..(they LOVE it !)..ask a lot of questions, and watch what the nurses do. If it turns you on, then you'll have your answer !
    Most companies will put you through a mandatory trng. period (classroom style) before ever putting you on the floor...just to learn the basics. You then have an orientation period on the unit floor as well, where you will learn about the meds,etc.

    In my 5 yrs, we've only had to code once. Each company will have their own protocol regarding this.. usually 911 and cpr.

    The patient contact and "family" atmosphere is the best ! But this usually only in the smaller clinics.. get into the BIG ones, and there's problems...high staff turnover rate, burnout, no time to get to know the patients or teach them..just "get 'em in, get 'em on, get 'em off, get 'em out"..before the next group comes in. The smaller units (30 or less pts.) is definately the way to go.

    Yes, it DOES get into your "blood" !

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    I have applied for dialysis positions several times and the market is weird here. No one wants to train you I guess.....

    renerian


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