from psych to renal dialysis

Specialties Urology


I have been a psych nurse for 14 yrs and looking into a career speciality change. My clinical skills are very limited(I have been in UR for 7 years without patient contact). Any advice on where to start? There is a Gambro facility nearby. Thank you.

jnette, ASN, EMT-I

4,388 Posts

Specializes in Hemodialysis, Home Health.

First of all.. what do you KNOW about dialysis/renal care? Do you find it interesting?fascinating? Have you visited any dialysis clinics and talked with the nurses there, chatted with some of the patients? What made you lean toward dialysis ?

If you have already done the above and have decided this is what you want to persue, then go to the Gambro (or facilty of your choice) and discuss your goals with the nurse mgr. there and ask for input/advice as to what steps to take next.

Our company trains all new staff, so you do not have to have experience in dialysis. Before you are put on the floor, you must complete a 4-6wk trng. period (classroom style) at the main facilty. You are then oriented on the floor for 6 mos.

I've been in dialysis 5 years as a tech and am about to complete my RN.. I absolutely love what I do. However, if you have a choice, go for a small clinic (30 or less patients)... much nicer, not as hectic, less turnover of staff, and you really get to know and love your patients.

Good Luck !


61 Posts

I made the same decision 15 yr ago and have had a very enjoyable career.Do visit a facility and really watch what goes on-dialysis is very hard work physically! It's very rewarding as you get to know the pt really well. They are in the unit 3-5 hr 3 times a week-do you see your own family that much? Generally they are very supportive of one another and the staff. Good luck!


439 Posts

Specializes in Community, Renal, OR.

I changed to dialysis after working in operating room nursing for 15 years. I had that "lack of patient contact" comment at my recruitment interview and I replied that the lack of patient contact was what I was missing and the continuity of patient population was what attracted me to dialysis.

Incidently your skills in dealing with challenging patient/family situations such as verbal abuse/ treatment non compliance/etc should be stressed at interview. And I'll bet they've got a few psych patients on dialysis, we do.

I just love working in dialysis.


127 Posts

Psych nursing is good experience for going into HD!! These people have all kinds of issues. Some of them are devastated because they are unable to work and provide for their families, some of their spouses have left them, etc... Alot of HD pts have Mental illness/depression. I think you would do just fine in dialysis. After all, you don't learn how to do it in school, it is an acquired skill that is learned and gets better with practice!!

This topic is now closed to further replies.

By using the site, you agree with our Policies. X