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From South Africa to US Nephrology Nurse

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traumaRUs has 27 years experience as a MSN, APRN, CNS and specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU.

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How to become a nephrology nurse?

This is National Nephrology Nurses Week. allnurses.com celebrates nephrology nurses and profiles another fantastic nephrology nurse

From South Africa to US Nephrology Nurse

This is National Nephrology Nurses Week. allnurses.com was fortunate to interview Anne Diroll, a hemodialysis nurse from California. 

1. How did you come into nephrology nursing?

I was a pulmonary per diem nurse at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, WA at the time. Due to divorce, I needed benefits for myself and 3-children. I went to Personnel, and asked for a job on any floor, any shift 20 or more hours/week. There was an opening in dialysis! I mentioned in my interview that I didn't know anything about kidneys except that they made urine. The reply was "well dialysis exists because the kidneys aren't making urine", to which I replied, "oh, so dialysis is to the kidneys what a ventilator is to the lungs?" I got the job - that was in 1995 - and the rest is history. Stay a year, and if nephrology gets her claws into you, you will retire as a nephrology nurse!

2. How long have you been a nurse?

Anne states that she became an RN in 1975

3. What do you tell patients to encourage them during dialysis as it can sometimes (often) be an uncomfortable procedure?

I tell them I can hardly stand to do the last 10 minutes on a treadmill, or the last 20 minutes of a 3-hour drive - but you just have to power through it to meet your goal or get to your destination.

4. What made you decide to immigrate to the US?

I come for love - the love didn't last, so I stayed for the money! And my 3-children were all born American. I finally took out citizenship in 2008!

5. allnurses.com has a large group of nurses that have come from other countries. What has been your biggest success story as well as your biggest stumbling block?

My biggest success story was getting my driver's license; driving on the right-hand side of the road. My biggest stumbling block (South Africa has been metric since 1961) was converting to America's imperial system of measurement. Fahrenheit instead of Centigrade, pounds instead of kilos, feet.

6. Any closing words? 

A body of knowledge moves forward - move forward with it!

Thanks to Crit Line, which also measures continuous oxygen saturation, When I was a pulmonary nurse I noticed that giving dialysis patients supplemental oxygen helped with fluid removal. I ran this by a pulmonologist mentor, Dr Richard Lambert. He said it was a “sentinel finding”. So I have dedicated my dialysis career to cardio-pulmonary dynamics.  I say @oxygen isn’t everything - but it’s right up there with money. 

Thanks so much to Anne for sharing her story. 

Anne Diroll RN (Nephrology)


After being hospitalized as a teenager, Anne Diroll, RN was inspired to become a nurse and is now a clinic manager with Fresenius Kidney Care in Rocklin, Calif. Photo courtesy of Fresenius Kidney Care. 

Here's another nephrology nursing story. 

To honor the dedicated nephrology nurses who care for patients with kidney disease, the American Nephrology Nurses Association (ANNA) has designated the second full week in September each year as Nephrology Nurses Week. In 2019, Nephrology Nurses Week will be celebrated September 8-14.

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