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Dialysis nursing pros and cons

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Gracefully Saved has 4 years experience as a ADN and specializes in ICU.

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If you are interested in dialysis you may want to look into acutes. When I worked acutes it was extremely flexible. I basically made my own schedule. Once I received my assignment I would call and let the nurses know when I would get there. The work is autonomous and flexible. I loved it. 

Edited by Gracefully Saved

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Hoosier_RN has 20 years experience as a MSN and specializes in LTC, home health, hospice, ICU, ER, dialysis.

3 Followers; 2,739 Visitors; 1,359 Posts

3 minutes ago, Gracefully Saved said:

If you are interested in dialysis you may want to look into acutes. When I worked acutes it was extremely flexible. I basically made my own schedule. Once I received my assignment I would call and let the nurses know when I got there. The work is autonomous and flexible. I loved it. 

It depends on the area.  Most have a time window requirement for once the nurse is notified.  If you have a kiddo and not much support, it's not going to work.  It's worth looking into tho, as areas vary

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Gracefully Saved has 4 years experience as a ADN and specializes in ICU.

142 Visitors; 15 Posts

13 minutes ago, Hoosier_RN said:

It depends on the area.  Most have a time window requirement for once the nurse is notified.  If you have a kiddo and not much support, it's not going to work.  It's worth looking into tho, as areas vary

That was my mistake. I meant let the nurse know when I would get there. We did have an hour window but it was still flexible. Thanks for catching that!

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Ashley_SF has 5 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Dialysis.

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I would never again work salary in dialysis. Whenever we were short I would get called in to fill in as a tech, nurse or both.. even if I had already worked over 40 hours for the week.

I didn't have time to myself and I dreaded the phone ringing. 

I second working in acutes. After working in the chronic setting for 5 years, I much prefer the schedule and flexibility of working in the hospital. In the outpatient setting I was sometimes the only nurse and could never relax on my "break". 

Yesterday I dialyzed a couple patients on our acute unit, sent them back to their floor nurses and had a glorious hour of uninterrupted lunch before heading out to the ICU to do a run.. Then I got to go home, without being pressured to work overtime. 

I love working in dialysis, but the chronic setting was too much for me and I didn't even have to worry about children at home. 

 

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8 minutes ago, Ashley_SF said:

I would never again work salary in dialysis. Whenever we were short I would get called in to fill in as a tech, nurse or both.. even if I had already worked over 40 hours for the week.

I didn't have time to myself and I dreaded the phone ringing. 

I second working in acutes. After working in the chronic setting for 5 years, I much prefer the schedule and flexibility of working in the hospital. In the outpatient setting I was sometimes the only nurse and could never relax on my "break". 

Yesterday I dialyzed a couple patients on our acute unit, sent them back to their floor nurses and had a glorious hour of uninterrupted lunch before heading out to the ICU to do a run.. Then I got to go home, without being pressured to work overtime. 

I love working in dialysis, but the chronic setting was too much for me and I didn't even have to worry about children at home. 

 

Thanks for sharing your experience. One of my biggest fears is being over worked with dialysis and during my interview i was told several times that this acute dialysis facility was extremely short staff due to a large number of employees leaving. 

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Ashley_SF has 5 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Dialysis.

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I'd take it as a big red flag if they were losing a lot of employees at once. 

 

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I don't and won't manage 16 hour shifts.  We aren't robots for heaven's sake!

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25 minutes ago, Lovethenurse2b25 said:

Thanks for sharing your experience. One of my biggest fears is being over worked with dialysis and during my interview i was told several times that this acute dialysis facility was extremely short staff due to a large number of employees leaving. 

No doubt.

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Hoosier_RN has 20 years experience as a MSN and specializes in LTC, home health, hospice, ICU, ER, dialysis.

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2 hours ago, Lovethenurse2b25 said:

Thanks for sharing your experience. One of my biggest fears is being over worked with dialysis and during my interview i was told several times that this acute dialysis facility was extremely short staff due to a large number of employees leaving. 

Acutes generally have that problem. Find an outpatient clinic. 

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I worked for 5 years in a dialysis clinic until 2005 (when I had twins), but it was four 10-hour shifts.  I was hourly but there was rarely any OT.  Hours were 5 a.m. until done, but that was usually by 4 p.m.  Later they required some hospital acute call (this was DaVita), but it wasn't excessive; however, I don't think it would be manageable with a young child and no support system.

Later I worked PRN in a hospital acute unit (few hospitals still have those, though, most contract with the large providers).  It was nice, 8 hour days... however, the full-time employees (and to a limited extent, even the part-time and PRN ones) had to do call shifts as well.

That said, I have never worked 16 hour shifts in dialsyis - I don't see how nurses do it.  The work is demanding, not just mentally but physically.  

I still miss my clinic patients, you see them 3 days a week and establish a relationship with them.  I'm glad I did dialysis, I learned a lot and have been able to apply the knowledge in subsequent jobs.  But would I ever go back?  

No.

Best of luck to you, OP, I hope you find a good position.

 

 

 

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I've been doing outpatient dialysis for 6 years now and I love it. I do 3 12s, rarely 4 days if covering for someone on vacation. The hours are crazy, 4am-430pm but never 16 hour shifts. It's an adjustment learning to go to bed early to get up at 3am but otherwise completely doable. Im usually able to still take the kids to practice and cook dinner everyday. The work is VERY repetitive. Every patient almost has the same needs but they're complicated with multiple comorbidities. You learn to multitask and wear many hats (social worker, dietician, infection control, etc). I reccomend the field to many of my nursing friends that are stressed out in acute bedside nursing. As long as you find a clinic that is well managed and treat their staff as a resource and not a warm body filling a role, there is a lot to be appreciated and room to grow in outpatient hemodialysis.

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4 hours ago, LostMyPen,RN said:

I've been doing outpatient dialysis for 6 years now and I love it. I do 3 12s, rarely 4 days if covering for someone on vacation. The hours are crazy, 4am-430pm but never 16 hour shifts. It's an adjustment learning to go to bed early to get up at 3am but otherwise completely doable. Im usually able to still take the kids to practice and cook dinner everyday. The work is VERY repetitive. Every patient almost has the same needs but they're complicated with multiple comorbidities. You learn to multitask and wear many hats (social worker, dietician, infection control, etc). I reccomend the field to many of my nursing friends that are stressed out in acute bedside nursing. As long as you find a clinic that is well managed and treat their staff as a resource and not a warm body filling a role, there is a lot to be appreciated and room to grow in outpatient hemodialysis.

Thank you. Maybe in the future i will consider dialysis. 

I just found out the outpatient clinic is willing to offer 10 hour shifts for 4 days because they are willing to take anything at this point from 5:00-3:30 but she also added with paperwork it would really be a 5:00-5:30. Either way it still wouldn't work for a mom who has to pick a child from school with a 35 minutes commute to and from work.  

Edited by Lovethenurse2b25

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