What is your typical day like?

  1. I am currently working on the floor at a local hospital. I've been out of school for one year and have learned all to well about the stress involved over pt load, risk of lawsuits, high turnover of staff, etc. There is an RN posting for one of our free-standing (for profit) dialysis centers. I am seriously considering applying for this position and would like to hear from other dialysis RN's as far as what a typical day entails, advantages and disadvantages, etc. Thanks for your input!

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    About rileygrl11

    Joined: Feb '03; Posts: 126; Likes: 3


  3. by   jnette
    Tory.. if you haven't already, go check out some of the various other recent posts here.. you get a pretty good idea. Also, if you are fortunate enough to be talking about a SMALL clinic (no more than 30 pts.total, divided up on different days), I believe you'll really, really like it ! Go check it out !
  4. by   Allaroundnurse
    I agree that you need to go see a unit. Staffing patterns, work ratio's, and job discriptions are different with all of the chronic units. Acute nursing is also good but there is a lot of on call and remember that most dialysis patients are there because they are non-compliant in the first place so they get overloaded and go to the ER in the early morning (before their unit is open) and get admitted and guess what-you get called out. Look at the training program the unit offers. A good question to ask is what is the staff turnover rate. If it is high on the PCT side find out why. If it is high on the nurse side you might want to steer clear.
  5. by   jnette
    Exccellent advice from Allaroundnurse, Tory. You would do well to follow it. Good luck !
  6. by   babs_rn
    Just curious, but what company will you be working for? If it's one of the big three (FMC, Gambro, DaVita) check out their websites and ask around, particularly on this venue. Lots of nurses on here mainly from FMC and Gambro, I'm the only one I see posting from DaVita (I like them). If it's owned by an area physician or corporate group, just be careful and again, ask around.

    As far as a typical day for me goes, it varies. I work full time in a local center and I travel to Atlanta one day a week to work in another center owned by the same company for the extra hours and travel pay (nice incentives there). In my home clinic, which is much smaller, I function as a charge nurse as well as clinical coordinator and I do initiate treatments in the morning as well as try to help out the other girls on the floor as I can, but I have other responsibilities as well - giving the medications, reviewing the flowsheets for completeness, chart audits and care planning, intervening when complications occur, and I function as our "vascular access manager" - and soon I will be taking on anemia management and preceptor responsibilities as well, just as soon as I complete the training required for those tasks. Sounds like a lot, and it is, but it isn't really as overwhelming as it sounds. We have hectic days and we have slow days, but in my experience, a bad day in HD is still better than a good day in the ED.
    Wanna know why? Because the patients in my center are like an extended family. I know each of them, I know their concerns, I know their personalities, I care about what happens to every one of them (and I believe it shows), and I enjoy the interaction I have with them. We see them three days a week for 3-5 hours each day. We have professional relationships with them that go beyond anything you can have with a hospital patient. We occasionally schedule picnics and invite the patients to join us. We play bingo every friday with them. The most fullfilling thing, though, is the one simple fact that I am helping to provide them with a treatment that they absolutely, positively, cannot live without. I am taking part in something that not only extends their lives, but adds to the quality of each life. It is long-term, chronic care in a venue that is completely different from any nursing home, any doctor's office, any home health possibilities allow. Our patients don't just come in for their treatments - we're not just giving treatments and shoo-ing them out the door. We're all a family and we act like it. I love it and wouldn't trade it for anything else in the world.
  7. by   TELEpathicRN
    I work for one of the big 3 FMC. We are supposedly the largest provider of dialysis in the US and it shows!!! It shows in the lack of respect they have for their employees and their pts!! We don't even have a retirement program now. They "froze" the retirement program before I was eligible and now give quarterly dividend/profit sharing checks, guess what mine is in$$$$..............................NOTHING!!! We do have 401-k, but their matching isnt that great.

    I stay at the job because I love acutes and the difference I make in pts lives everyday!! I love to do patient teaching and this is an area that allows me to do this. It is really rewarding to see a pt come in for their first tx feeling bad and scared to death, and at the end of the tx, they say" thanks for what you have done for me, I feel so much better, and you made me feel so comfortable, that I wasn't even nervous because you explained everything so in detail and step by step". I usually say "No thanks needed", just doing my job, what I LOVE!!