Considering dialysis, what is involved?

  1. I have considered applying in our dialysis unit and was wondering if any of you could tell me what a typical day would be like, patient ratios, what training you took before taking a job, burnout rates etc.
    I have worked in several areas, the dialysis unit here is staffed with 12 hr shifts and I really like those.
    Thanks in advance.
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    About nurseinlimbo

    Joined: Apr '05; Posts: 266; Likes: 194

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  3. by   Sunshine97
    Quote from nurseinlimbo
    I have considered applying in our dialysis unit and was wondering if any of you could tell me what a typical day would be like, patient ratios, what training you took before taking a job, burnout rates etc.
    I have worked in several areas, the dialysis unit here is staffed with 12 hr shifts and I really like those.
    Thanks in advance.
    It's very routine my exp is in the Uk but dialysis is dialysis everywher u go. If you are someone who wnat to get to learn things it will not be intresting for you.
  4. by   floridanurse65
    I agree that after doing it for some time, It can feel routine. With that being said, there is so much to learn about Dialysis. It's not simply learning how to run the equipment. I did it for 5 years and it was a good 6 months before I felt totally comfortable. It was very challenging at first. When I first began they put me with a tech to learn the machine. As far as putting a patient on and off a machine, it's the same for a Tech or a Nurse. Some things differ from facility to facility. One place I worked wouldn't let a tech touch a dialysis catheter. Another facility trained their techs to use them and do dressing changes. Only nurses give meds, take orders, etc. Dialysis is not, by any means, easy. You can't walk in off the street and know how to do it and it can be and usually is physically demanding. Patient ratios also differ but I would say the ideal is 3:1, but often you may get 4:1. Anything above that in my opinion is not safe. One facility I worked at had 2 shifts of 18 patients which was usually a 10 hour day. The other two were 3 shifts and it was usually 13 hours from start to finish. I have also done Travel Nursing in Dialysis and once you have a couple of years under your belt you will be in demand anywhere in the country. I made an unbelievable amount of money traveling. In my experience, It's one of those areas that doesn't take you long to figure out if you like. Most people either love it or hate it. There isn't much in between. If you decide to try it my best advice would be to work for a unit that has a formal training program. I was thrown into it and it was sink or swim. I happened to catch on quickly and I became an excellent Dialysis Nurse.

    I think it's always worth a try if it interests you. Just know that no matter how long you've been a nurse or how much experience you have in another area, Dialysis is totally different. You will feel like a new grad all over again when you first begin. Don't take your techs for granted as a resource either. The techs that trained me on the machine had all been doing it 10 or more years and they were my saviors when I was first learning and had a problem with something. Whatever you decide, I wish you good luck and if I can be more specific about something for you, let me know.

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