Nephrology Nurses Week 2018 - Interview with Dialysis Nurse/Patient

  1. September 9th thru 15th 2018 is designated as National Nephrology Nurses Week. AN recently interviewed a dialysis nurse with a heartwarming story.

    Nephrology Nurses Week 2018 - Interview with Dialysis Nurse/Patient

    The 2018 National Nephrology Nurses Week is September 9-15. This week is set aside to honor all nurses that work in nephrology. These nurses work in a variety of positions including private practices, transplant centers, hemodialysis, peritoneal, and various home dialysis modalities. Many nurses also work in the hospital setting on renal floors, transplant units and other general adult and pediatric units. Nephrology is a wide-ranching specialty encompassing many different types of care. However, they all require caring nursing.

    The American Nephrology Nurses Association ANNA started Nephrology Nurses week to give employers, patients and others the opportunity to thank nephrology nurses in their lives. Also, in acknowledgment that nephrology nursing can be very specialized, ANNA wants to emphasize the continued need for dialysis and other nephrology nurses. In 2015, the American Kidney Fund stated:

    • Kidney disease is the 9TH leading cause of death in the United States
    • An estimated 31 million people in the United States (10% of the adult population) have chronic kidney disease (CKD)
    • 9 out of 10 people who have stage 3 CKD (moderately decreased kidney function) do not know it
    • CKD is more common among women, but men with CKD are 50� more likely than women to have their CKD turn into kidney failure (also called end-stage renal disease or ESRD)
    • Some racial and ethnic groups are at greater risk for kidney failure. Compared to whites, the risk for African Americans is almost 4 times higher, Native Americans is 1.5 times higher, Asians 1.4 times higher. Compared to non-Hispanics, Hispanics are almost 1.5 times as likely to be diagnosed with kidney failure

    What causes kidney disease? In the US, per the American Kidney Fund, the most common diagnoses associated with kidney disease:

    • Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure. Diabetes causes 44% of all new cases of kidney failure. In 2012 it was the primary cause for 239,837 kidney failure patients. An estimated 29.1 million people have diabetes; 8.1 million of them don't know they have it. About 40% of people with diabetes will get CKD. African Americans with diabetes are 3.5 times more likely than whites to get kidney disease. Most people (69%) participating in a 2011 nationwide survey by the American Kidney Fund could not name diabetes as a leading cause of kidney disease, despite the fact that over half (55%) had a loved one with diabetes.
    • High Blood Pressure is the 2nd leading cause of kidney failure. High blood pressure (HBP) causes 28.4% of all new cases of kidney failure. In 2012 it was the primary cause for 159,049 kidney failure patients.2An estimated 70 million (29%) people have HBP - that is every 1 in 3American Adults. Most people (85%) participating in a 2011 nationwide survey by the American Kidney Fund could not name high blood pressure as a leading cause of kidney disease, yet most of them (75%) had a loved one with high blood pressure.

    With these statistics in mind, many nurses who don't consider themselves nephrology nurses have a role in preventing and/or slowing the progression of kidney disease. When you care for diabetic patients or those with hypertension, it is extremely important to educate them and make them aware if they have decreased renal function. It is also very important to dose medication for patients renal function even if only slightly impaired. And for those patients who progress to CKD stage 3 (GFR 30-59) it is even more important to bring in the nephrologist.

    AllNurses recently interviewed a nurse who works in a large Fresenius hemodialysis unit in Texas. Her name is Maureen Moore and she has an interesting story as to her evolution as a hemodialysis RN.

    Last edit by traumaRUs on Sep 10
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  3. by   Hoosier_RN
    Thank you for acknowledging this often forgotten area of nursing. I am a fairly new dialysis nurse and when I say this is what I do, I get looks that are worse than when I would say I worked in LTC. Dialysis is truly lifesaving, and no one is there who doesn't need the care. It's very challenging in the respect that so many are so noncompliant with their own self care, a common theme in healthcare nowadays. What makes my heart happy? When a patient is able to get that awaited transplant and go to the next stage of their life!

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