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rhyde LPN

Dialysis Nurse Educator

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  1. rhyde

    Acute Dialysis - What do you use to carry your supplies?

    We have a small tote that fits between the handle of the portable RO cart & the RO itself. We used plastic bags, gloves over the ends of hoses, etc. for many years before the tote & new RO's. You could maybe get a small toolbox as well. Just head out to the local hardware store and take a look around. It might give you some ideas. Good Luck!
  2. rhyde

    Dialysis catheter locks

    We use Citrate exclusively in the acute unit not only for HIT positive patients. There is some research out there that citrate confers an edge for infection control. I have never read any of the research, but both our docs say the same. We used to use it in the chronic unit as well until it became hard to get and we switched back to heparin.
  3. rhyde

    Current RN pay scale?

    Pay rates seem to be lower here than in many other states, I am fortunate in that I have years of dialysis experience so I make a bit more. However, before you move here, please check out the area you want to live in and the cost of living. Some things are way cheaper and some are more expensive so factor that into what you are expecting to receive as pay. Montana is awesome to live in - I can grab my horse and trailer for 10 minutes to ride for hours. You really do get awesome outdoor experiences in this state! I truly love that it has 4 real seasons ( maybe not so much when it is really cold like now!!!) and that I can find recreation close to home. Good luck in finding what you are looking for in this wonderful state!
  4. rhyde

    Dialysis nursing

    From my perspective of over 33 years in the field, I love dialysis for the autonomy - I have done home dialysis, PD, travelled, in center and acutes as an LPN. I have also learned to repair machines (I'm very mechanically oriented thanks to my Dad!), take care of water treatment etc. But day to day here is what you do - In Center hemodialysis has shifts that come in at certain times. So early morning a group comes in, they run and you take them off and put another set of patients on. During this time, the nurse is doing assessments, giving meds, and basic other tasks - calling MD's, getting med lists and doing reconciliation, etc. Most clinics you stay pretty busy. I have found DVT's and a pericardial friction rub on assessments as well as non-healing wounds etc. You use all your assessment skills and frequent communication with physicians. Depending on the clinic you work at, you will supervise technicians who do most of the actual care of the patient. These folks can be your best friends or worst enemies! Treat them with respect and they do their best work for you. It seems to be that you either love it or hate it - I would try to shadow for a day or two to see if it will fit. Give it a try!
  5. rhyde

    I wanna quit

    When I think I can't get an access, I close my eyes and just feel the access under my fingers, take a deep breath and only when I feel like I have the feel of it do I put a needle in. You will have days where you can't hit the broadside of a barn, but these will diminish. Overall, don't be hard on yourself. Acutes can be stressful enough without you putting more stress on yourself. You can do this, and yes, ask a preceptor or someone you trust to look at your Cannulation technique. Sometimes you change things without even knowing. Keep on trying and it will get better. Or so they say!! I've been in this field for 33 years and some days are just hard. Hats off to you for working in Acute Dialysis - sometimes the hardest place to be.
  6. I have been in the dialysis field for over 30 years and I can tell you that we welcome new grads. It is sometimes better to have some med/surg experience, but we want to teach you from the ground up. Go to a local unit and ask if you can shadow an RN for part of a day. This will enable you to see if the fast pace and the work keep you interested. There are great units out of all the large providers, but I have found that the non-profit units suit my personality best - they seem to be most focused on the patient. In my 30 years, I have done all facets of dialysis including the technical side (repairing machines, taking care of water treatment etc.). I have travelled, done peritoneal dialysis, acute dialysis in hospitals and even home hemodialysis. For me, it is fascinating work - we may see the same patients over again, but you form close bonds with them, and are very alert to changes in physical or mental functioning. Best of luck to you!
  7. rhyde

    LPN - can they be a dialysis nurse??

    LPNs can be nurses in dialysis. I have been in the field for 33 years as an LPN. In some ways it has enabled me to go into areas I would not have been able to do as an RN. You can travel, do in-center hemodialysis, I have done home hemo, PD, have been a chief tech and now an educator. I have also worked in acute units in my home state and in other states. Depends the most on the licensing requirements and scope of practice in each state. I'd say go for it! You really use a lot of nursing skills in this job, it is fast paced and every day is different even though you see the patients over and over again.