Published Jul 29, 2009
Hi. I am a new RN grad applying for jobs. I am considering taking a job with Davita as a RN in one of their dialysis clinics. In researching the company I came across a lot of negative information related to working conditions. It seems like a great company so I am confused. I would appreciate any information people can share with me about DaVita (working conditions, safety of patients & staff, training, hours, pay, overtime I can expect & overtime pay, bonuses, benefits,.....anything! ). I want to make sure my first job experience as a RN is a positive one! Thank you!!!!
Do a search in allnurses :typing. Some of the threads are old but I will read them today and say "wow, it's like they work at my clinic". I even posted about not having any or very inadequate supplies. I don't live in Ill, I live more south but it is the same company. Also debate with yourself whether you would mind being the only nurse (or licensed person) in the facility. Sometimes there were LVNs as well but for almost a year I was it and my licnese was on the line everyday!! The majority of PCTs have no medical background and are pushing HEPARIN. I worked for a year and had enough. Now I work on a tele floor in a hospital and love it! Also it is very very monotonous!! And as for bonuses, I can't speak for those. For a long time my clinic has not received any. A couple of PCTs have been there for 10 years and have only recieved a couple of bonuses. The bonuses are determined by a lot of issues that are out of your control. Such as: pt's labs, Catheter numbers, infections, etc. Most of the pts are very non compliant. It just gets really old, all of it!
I work for Davita...Worked in 3 different hospitals in ER/Critical care over 10years before going to dialysis. Davita is a "for profit" company. It is on the NYSE and is publicly owned....so it is what it is. The budget is the bottom line, PERIOD! I get paid more than any, I MEAN ANY OTHER of my other colleagues by quite a bit. I have looked at the other local hospitals and have talked to recruiters and I could not come close to making the type of money I am making right now.
So....short answer is that most of what you have heard is true. But take it for what is worth. If you want to work third shift, every other Sunday and most holidays then go to a hospital. If not, try it!
Lastly, one piece of advice (i know you did not ask for it) is why dialysis right out of nursing school? You really should develop and experience a more rounded field (floor, icu, ccu, sicu, er....) Dialysis is .....dialysis! You will only learn dialysis!
Thank you for the advice. I know it would be wise to work in a hospital to gain experience in different areas, but my clinicals were in a small hospital and all my clinical days were on the acute care floor. We only had one day to shadow a nurse in each different department (ICU, OB, ER, Surgery), therefore I did not get a well rounded idea of what working in those departments would be like. I strongly disliked working on the acute floor, which seemed to be the attitude of all the staff nurses as well. I do appreciate your advice because I have had concerns about not being able to to move to a different field someday if I work in dialysis right out of school. Thank you for taking the time to respond, given your 10+ years of experience, I value the information you shared!
I appreciate you taking the time to respond. The idea of it being accepted by the facility for PCTs to push any drug, (especially heparin!!) is frightening. I would not put my license on the line by having to allow that to happen, since I would be the one responsible for their actions! Your information gave me a better understanding of the type of questions I definitely need to ask the FA regarding policies. Thank you for your advice!
I DON'T KNOW ABOUT WORKING FOR DAVITA. I WORK FOR A HOSPITAL BASED OUTPATIENT FACILITY. I LOVE IT BUT I QUESTION GOING TO WORK IN DIALYSIS STRAIGHT OUT OF SCHOOL. YOU STILL HAVE A LOT OF MED/SUR ISSUES YOU HAVE TO KNOW AND DEAL WITH IN DIALYSIS THAT YOU NEED EXPERIENCE TO HANDLE WELL. DIALYSIS IS A SPECIALTY THAT IS LIFE THREATENING OR LIFE PROLONGING. IT IS A FINE LINE BETWEEN THEM AND MANY PEOPLE DON'T REALIZE THAT. I SUGGEST YOU WORK IN A HOSPITAL SITUATION FOR A WHILE AND GET SOME GOOD EXPERIENCE THEN IF YOU STILL WANT TO, GO INTO DIALYSIS. MOST PEOPLE EITHER LOVE IT OR HATE IT. WHAT EVER YOU DECIDE, GOOD LUCK. :wink2:
The previous posts are exactly right about having some previous experience before going into dialysis. I have been in dialysis for 10 years, and I still get uneasy about being the only nurse in the unit. People do code on the machine, have strokes & seizures, or become unresponsive if their bp drops too low. Since you will be the nurse, the staff will be looking to you for direction about what to do. It's scary!
When I graduated nursing school, I absolutely hated hospital work, but I knew that I needed to learn more things before going into a specialty. I worked in a hospital for a little over a year. I'm glad I did, too.
Also, if you start out in dialysis, you won't have any skills other than dialysis, which will make it really hard to get into another area of nursing.
Davita benefits are pretty comparable to other companies, but they do not match any funds on the 401k. They tell you that the bonuses are more than you would get from matching 401k, but if your clinic does not meet their goals, you will not get any bonus.
NurseKitten, MSN, RN
DaVita's better than some of the other options out there, but that's kinda like most political elections: a choice between bad and worse.
The people in our local DaVita's are good people, and they do the best they can with what they have. We have the blessing of strong medical directorship, not afraid to stand up to the regional director and tell her when to go....well, you know. :)
I'd still be there were it not for the regional director and her hiring a crazy woman as our FA.
It's hard work, and IMHO, not for a new grad. I did it on and off for 13+ years, and it still scared me that I was 30 minutes away from a hospital, with a clinic full of 20 inherently hemodynamically-unstable patients, and I was the only RN in the building most days.
You will deal with techs who think they know as much as you do (and if you're a new grad, they probably do, more in some cases) and don't have to listen to you, because of it. The acute experience is as much for learning to supervise UAP's as clinical skills, IMHO.
If your heart is set on dialysis, DaVita's not the worst way to go, but go get some acute experience, first.
I am an RN with 14 years experience in homecare, LTC, hospice, psych. I am thinking strongly of getting into dialysis. I think it is better to specialize and become proficient in one particular area of nursing rather than take the jack of all trades master of none approach. And I believe dialysis is not going away and will be an open field for some years to come. At least, thats my theory!
You are exactly right about dialysis. It is a growing population of patients because people are living longer with chronic conditions than ever before. All your previous experience will be alot of help because almost all of the patients have other medical, financial, and family/home issues to deal with as well as the dialysis. It's not a bad field to work in, but it has it's share of headaches like anything else. Medicare has made alot of changes and is more outcome-driven now, so there is more pressure on the dialysis companies to be able to show that they are providing quality care.
The problem is that alot of the patients were already non-compliant before they started dialysis, and are not going to change readily. The outcomes are dependent on the patients coming for every treatment and taking meds as directed. You have to do alot of teaching & motivation, but in the end it is all on the patient to comply.
Some of our pts who actually are compliant have had changes in their health plans & their meds that they need are no longer being covered. I'm not sure how all this healthcare reform is going to be, but I am afraid it is not all going to be good.
Some good information and advice. I know that NO one specialty in nursing is going to be perfect. I do sense that compliance would be a big factor. The medicare/health reform has us all on edge, both for the consumer and the professional angles.
traumaRUs, MSN, APRN
One also has to consider the job market. I do agree that going to dialysis right out of school may not be the best idea, however, I live in central IL and believe me new grad RNs take what they can get here!
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