Quote from lillady1225
I am an rn who graduated 5 months ago and recently left a job in med surg to go into dialysis. Mainly it was because i was hired for nights and couldn't do it anymore. I got hired at a davita clinic and I think i might like it alot more than med surg. I really wasn't happy doing the whole med surg thing. The hours are better and the pay is a bit better too. It seems to be less stressful or am i in for a rude awakeing.
My first jobs in med/surg and stepdown were a nightmare... and chronic dialysis was therefore better. But I hated the hours, I'm not a morning person and getting up at 4:00 a.m. just about did me in... never got used to it. If that's not a problem for you, you have an advantage.
As pp have said, a lot depends on our company and even unit. In some places, nurses have to run their own patients and
supervise PCTs, do all assessments, give all meds including heparin*, etc. That's how mine was, and it was very difficult. But I liked the chronic pts (well, most of them anyway), getting to know them, etc. But when the company added mandatory call for RNs (i.e., changed the rules after 5 years), it was time for me to go.
And I found something better, the ideal situation IMO: acute (hospital) dialysis. Our ratio is typically 1:1; during breaktime, it may go to 1:2 (but never if we dialyze a pt in an ICU or the ER). We get breaks, we get to sit down, and have the time and resources to provide quality patient care. And we still get to do a lot of what other hospital nurses do, therefore keeping our skills current. (Yes, some call is required, but I knew that from the start and agreed to it.)
Once you have chronic dialysis experience, you might want to look into acutes. Many of us haven't been able to leave the field of dialysis - I guess it got into our blood And no, I have no desire to return to med/surg - ever!!!
*You may be surprised to learn that some states allow PCTs - yes, UAPs - to give heparin in dialysis clinics. But if yours, like mine, doesn't, then you as the RN has to do this for the PCTs' patients, which can be difficult during turnover - especially if you're also running your own patients.