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Will I have to give up my nurse dreams if I'm on dialysis?

Nurses   (2,417 Views | 15 Replies)

12,926 Profile Views; 706 Posts

I did a search first, but I found no thread in reference to being a successful nurse while on dialysis.:) Only nurses working in dialysis!:heartbeat

I was recently diagnosed with nephrotic syndrome, and while I am still letting it all sink in, this is a big worry of mine (other than what shape my kidneys are in- don't know exactly yet). After years of wanting to go into nursing, I finally began pre-nursing, then get hit with this bombshell.

I know what answers I don't want to see, but I will have to be brave and face up to it.:nurse:

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47 Posts; 2,732 Profile Views

There is a girl at my school that was on home dialysis. She seemed to be able to handle everything. She did say though that if a kidney came along she would walk away from nursing school in an instant.

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dthfytr has 30 years experience as a ADN, LPN, RN, EMT-B, EMT-I and specializes in ER, Trauma.

1,160 Posts; 12,517 Profile Views

What type of dialysis will you be on. Machine 3 days per week, home peritoneal dilysis? I think the answer to your question is something you'll have to discover as things progress. In any case, best wishes for a long happy life.

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32 Posts; 1,611 Profile Views

The good thing about nursing is that there are so many different kinds of nursing, and the hours are so flexible. If you can get through nursing school, you can definitely get a job somewhere that will not be too difficult. Home health for instance.

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TheCommuter has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.

2 Followers; 228 Articles; 27,607 Posts; 319,050 Profile Views

One of my former coworkers is on dialysis. She worked the evening shift (2 to 10pm) at a nursing home, and was dialyzed three times per week at a dialysis center from 5:30am to 9:30am. I would think that 8-hour shifts would be easier to handle than 12-hour shifts when someone is on dialysis.

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Fiona59 has 18 years experience.

1 Follower; 8,304 Posts; 53,350 Profile Views

If it's outpatient hemo, it all depends on how your body handles it. I've seen patients so wiped out all they wanted to do was go home and rest.

It looks like it will be a waiting game for you, unfortunately.

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621 Posts; 5,505 Profile Views

as others have stated, it's doable, gonna depend a lot what type dialysis, where you wanna work and how your body handles it.

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15 Posts; 1,005 Profile Views

Hi, you should check the qualifications for licensure in the state in which you intend to practice. I reside in a state that had a qualification of "good physical and mental health" until a few years ago. I lost an LPN friend who had five children because she couldn't get diagnosed or treated for her asthma due to endangering her nursing license. Now, the law reads "not in poor physical or mental health." If you pass the hurdle of your state requirements, there isn't any reason you shouldn't be able to go to nursing school and work as a nurse. Many of us have desk jobs - I'm not saying you will need one, but just to open your mind to the vast opportunities in nursing. Good luck!

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Mamakellyd specializes in Nephrology/Dialysis.

38 Posts; 1,726 Profile Views

I have been a dialysis nurse for over 20 years, and I have seen patients give in to their disease and put their entire life on hold (and end up miserable) and I have seen patients decide they are going to live a full and active life despite their kidney disease and need for dialysis. These patients tend to do well because something in their life motivates them, and that motivation is bigger than any disease process. My advice first of all is to continue with school, even if your health requires you to take a part time load instead of full time. If you push yourself physically with school it will be to the detriment of your health. Part time school may delay graduation, but if you graduate healthy and well that will be a wonderful thing. Next, make sure your nephrologist knows that you are in school and what your long term goals are. Ask them to be realistic with you about how quickly your nephrotic syndrome is progressing towards dialysis. There are several different ways to dialyze- in center chronic three times each week, in center nocturnal also three times each week but at night instead of the day, home dialysis which can be either peritoneal or hemodialysis. So don't think that being on dialysis will mean only going to a clinic each week for a large chunck of time. And if it does, that is excellent time to read and work on homework. I also think at this time you don't need to worry about what type of work you can do when you finish school. There are so many options for nurses that you will be able to find something you can do.

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706 Posts; 12,926 Profile Views

What type of dialysis will you be on. Machine 3 days per week, home peritoneal dilysis? I think the answer to your question is something you'll have to discover as things progress. In any case, best wishes for a long happy life.

I still haven't had my first appointment with the nephrologist, it's coming up. My PCP diagnosed everything so far. So you are right, it's a wait and see thing.

Thank you everyone, for your input. As time passes I will have to take a long hard look at what my options are, I know that if the economy doesn't turn around in the future, limiting myself to only certain hours and positions may be a detriment to my career before it even gets off the ground! Either way, I can still continue with school, so I will do that and take everything as it comes.:up:

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canoehead has 30 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ER.

2 Followers; 6,674 Posts; 49,443 Profile Views

I wouldn't start shiftwork or do 12 hours at a time...it's just another added stress.

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706 Posts; 12,926 Profile Views

I wouldn't start shiftwork or do 12 hours at a time...it's just another added stress.

So working 12hr shifts is out? Even if dialysis is on my days off? 0r is the schedule not up to me?

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