Dialysis Nurse with hemodialysis patients

What Nurses Should Explain to Patients about Hemodialysis

Dialysis nurses take care of their patient’s special and essential needs. By keeping their patients informed of how the procedure works, which complications might arise, and signs of positive progress, dialysis nurses can bolster their patients’ spirits while providing critical medical care.

Hemodialysis is a type of treatment that filters off waste and water from your blood. In other words, it does the work of your kidneys with the help of a dialysis machine. A dialysis nurse should explain hemodialysis to the patient before the procedure begins. Here are a few things to explain to the patient:

The functions of Dialysis

Hemodialysis helps to control blood pressure and balance important minerals in the patient’s body. While hemodialysis can help patients feel better and live way longer it is not a cure for dialysis.

Where you can have Dialysis done

There are two places you can have hemodialysis done: at home or at a hemodialysis center. At the dialysis center, the dialysis nurse helps you set up and connect to the dialysis machine. Meanwhile, at home, the nurse can help you the first time and after that, you can perform dialysis yourself.

How the hemodialysis procedure works

Hemodialysis works by removing the patient’s blood and passing it through a dialyzer,  the main instrument in hemodialysis. It has two sections and is separated by a semipermeable membrane. This membrane allows the waste to flow through but retains the blood cells. After this, the dialysis solution is removed alongside the waste. The dialysis solution possesses electrolytes that help balance the electrolytes in the blood. After filtering, it goes back into the body.

How to prepare for hemodialysis

For this procedure to be performed properly, there must be a point of access through which the blood can leave and return to the body. The three types of access points are a fistula, a graft, and a catheter. All are created during a minor surgery. Most importantly, whichever entry point you have, you must keep it clean to prevent infection.

Possible problems from Hemodialysis

There are a few problems that can occur from hemodialysis, especially if the procedure is poorly administered. Therefore, it is best for patients to go to a nurse or visit of hemodialysis center. Potential problems include infection of the vascular access point, poor flow of blood, or a blockage. Changes in your body’s chemical balance can lead to muscle cramps, hypotension, and dizziness. 

How to know if you are making any progress

Progress is essential in any treatment. For hemodialysis, how you feel is a good measure of your progress. For example, you might notice that you are short of breath less frequently and that you have reduced swelling. You may also witness an increase in energy levels as well as a better appetite.

Dialysis nursing is a fulfilling profession that helps to save the lives of many patients. If you would like to take this nursing career path, please contact New Directions Staffing. We can help you find a nursing jobs in high quality healthcare facilities.