If you want to make a difference in someone’s life, nursing is the ideal career choice and choosing to specialize your nursing can be what makes a difference in someone’s life. Dialysis nurse training prepares nurses to work in dialysis clinics with patients who have kidney failure. This type of nursing is in high demand today and can be more financially rewarding than other nursing areas which is why many nurse are adding dialysis training to their resume.
What Dialysis Nurses Do
A dialysis nurse works in either dialysis units in hospitals or in dialysis clinics where they are the kidney patient’s most direct contact on a regular basis. These nurses perform a range of duties from planning patient care to planning patient diets. Some of the tasks nurses are taught during their time in the dialysis unit include:
- Starting the dialysis machine and monitoring it during the process;
- Planning and implementing care;
- Evaluating and reporting progress to patient’s doctor;
- Supervising diet and exercise routine.
In addition to the tasks, dialysis nurses are often the frontline of communication between dialysis patients and their doctor. As the nurse, you see the patient on a more frequent basis and have the opportunity to notice changes in their health that the doctor needs to know in order to make more informed decisions about their treatment.
Steps to Complete Dialysis Nurse Training
In order to qualify for dialysis nurse training you will need to be not just a registered nurse, but one with an associate degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. You cannot be a dialysis nurse with a diploma only. Once you have your registration you can apply to work in a dialysis clinic and learn the field.
Unlike some specialized nursing fields, there is a certification process for becoming a dialysis nurse. Many dialysis clinics offer their own specialized training which will provide the necessary educational hours required to sit for the Certified Dialysis Nursing Exam which is 15 educational hours.
In addition to the educational hours that are needed, there are 2,000 hours of work with renal patients that must have been completed within the past two years of applying for the exam.
Once the prerequisites have been met, the nurse can take the certification exam and if they pass become a Certified Dialysis Nurse which qualifies them for higher paying job in the nursing field.
In addition to the class work and clinical work involved in dialysis training, you should take into account the challenging stress dialysis work entails. Renal patients are not always the easiest patients to deal with, they are holding on to hopes of a kidney transplant in order to live and may be angry, sad, despondent and more. The dialysis nurse needs to be strong-willed and yet sympathetic at the same time. You have to be able to care for them no matter what they may say or do. If you can do this, you will make an ideal nurse in a renal clinic.
Types of Dialysis Nurses
Once you have your dialysis training behind you and are certified, you can focus on gaining experience and perhaps moving up in this specialized area. This is one of the most difficult nursing positions aside from the ICU. Some dialysis nurses are content with working in the clinic while others want to continue to grow. Dialysis nurses have many options, including:
- Permanent Dialysis Nurse: This nurse stays at one facility for many years. This offers job security and the opportunity to know the patients as they are often on dialysis for a long time before a transplant occurs.
- Traveling Dialysis Nurse: This nurse goes from one facility or hospital dialysis clinic to another for short periods. The traveling dialysis nurse learns many techniques from visiting many different clinics.
- Acute Dialysis Nurses: These nurses deal with patients whose kidneys have completely stopped working. This nurse is under much more stress and has to be extremely alert to every detail of the procedure.
Each of these dialysis nurses is important to the field and to keeping renal patients as healthy as possible while waiting on a better option. Dialysis nurses are an integral part of the kidney patient’s healthcare.
The kidneys perform a vital function in the human body, the removal of waste that could cause toxic poisoning and ultimately death. When the kidneys start to fail dialysis is the only way to cleanse the body. The machine and procedure use in this are taught during dialysis nurse training which allows nurses to progress to a higher level of nursing. Dialysis nurses help save lives every day.