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Dialysis Nurse

Dialysis Nurses and what they do.

Dialysis Nurses, also known as Nephrology Nurse, specialize in the care of patients in need of dialysis. They cater patients with kidney diseases and performs dialysis procedures.

By the definition, dialysis is the purification of blood through. It utilizes a special a machine that mimics the function of the kidneys.

On the other hand, nephrology refers to the branch of medicine that deals with the kidneys.

Patients needing dialysis are those whose kidneys are improperly functioning, to the point that it cannot excrete substances in the blood that should be removed out of the system.


Dialysis has 2 forms — first, hemodialysis, also known as kidney dialysis. It is the process of purifying the blood of a person whose kidneys are improperly functioning;

Second, the peritoneal dialysis where it involves the peritoneum. The peritoneum acts as a membrane through which fluid and other substances are exchanged with the blood. Consequently, the blood is cleansed.


Here is an infographic of the need for dialysis by YouTube account DocMikeEvans

A YouTube video on a day in the life of a Dialysis Nurse:

Living life with Dialysis:


ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Nephronology Nurses are particularly skilled and educationally prepared to tend for persons with kidney diseases. Their functions include:

  • Establish rapport with the patient and families.
  • Assess patient status, including vital signs, from start, during and after dialysis.
  • Manage the dialysis session from start to finish.
  • Ensure that patients receive correct medications.
  • Evaluate patient’s condition resulting from treatment.
  • Educate patients on the disease and proper management.
  • Analyze lab works and properly refer, as appropriate.
  • Collaborate with the physician and other members of the health team.
  • Acts a patient advocate and counsellor.

REQUIREMENTS: EDUCATION, LICENSURE AND CERTIFICATION

Like all of the RN positions, the most basic requirement in order to practice is a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree.

Second, the nurse should pass the National Council for Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in the state where they will practice.

Third, an RN should practice his profession, obtaining qualified experience with a minimum required hours is essential. Thereafter, the RN may apply for a certification as a Certified Dialysis Nurse (CDN) through Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission (NNCC)

Also, every nurse should consider advance education such as a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or a Doctorate degree.


CAREER OUTLOOK AND SALARY

The website Payscale reported that Dialysis Registered Nurses earn a median annual wage of $65,583. That is an hourly rate of $30.77.

Moreover, the lowest 10% earns as low as $46,838 while the highest 10% earn up to $87, 834.

Sure enough, the salary depends on the employer and state. However, it is notable that the skill, experience and educational level makes one’s wage higher or lower.

On the other hand, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected that jobs for Registered Nurses, Dialysis Nurses included, will increase in demand. In fact, the need will grow as high as 15% from year 2016 to 2026. That has a much faster than average rate as compared to other occupations.

The growth in demand may be attributed to the ageing population and fast turn-over of nurses.


WORK ENVIRONMENT

People may think that Dialysis Nurses can only function inside a Dialysis Center. It may be due to the large equipment nurses utilize for dialysis. However, as technology advances, the presence of ambulatory dialysis units opened the doors for CDNs to function outside of a center, such as in homes.

Also, it is notable that many of the Dialysis/Nephrology Care Centers are already operating on a 24-hour basis.


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