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Dialysis Nurse with PPE to Prevent spreading COVID-19

Dialysis Nursing: Precautions to Take With Patients During COVID-19

COVID-19 has affected millions around the world. For those who are immunocompromised, coronavirus can result in death or extended recovery. Patients on dialysis are considered to be at higher risk of COVID-19 complications. For severe cases, recovery could take more than six weeks. In many cases, death is more likely for an immunocompromised patient with COVID-19. As a dialysis nurse, you should be aware of the precautions to take in order to protect your patients.

How Dialysis Nurses Can Avoid COVID-19

There are many ways that you can avoid coming into contact with coronavirus. One of the best steps you can take to avoid coronavirus is to wash your hands often throughout the day. When you wash your hands, use soap and water. Be sure to lather and scrub all surfaces of your hands for 20 seconds. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth when you have not been able to wash your hands. If you have no access to a sink, you may use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. In public spaces, avoid touching frequently contaminated surfaces (such as stair railings).

A dialysis nurse should wear a mask when in public and especially around any patients. Wearing a mask can greatly decrease the chances of spreading or receiving coronavirus. When in public, try to stay six feet apart from others. Get tested if you believe you may have coronavirus. 

At the workplace, nurses must comply with CDC-regulated guidelines to keep work stations as clean as possible. This means wiping down areas that your patient comes into contact with throughout the day. Your dialysis treatment center should also take other precautions, such as spacing waiting room seats and taking patient temperatures. 

Understanding COVID-19 Symptoms 

One of the best things you can do as a dialysis nurse to prevent your immunocompromised patients from coming into contact with COVID-19 is to take care of yourself. This means getting tested at the first sign of coronavirus. If you notice COVID-19 symptoms in yourself or others around you, get tested. These symptoms include: 

  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue 
  • Body aches
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion 
  • Fever 
  • Chills 
  • Headache 
  • Loss of taste or smell 
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

If you contract COVID-19, you will start displaying these symptoms anywhere between 2 to 14 days after. Some people with COVID-19 are asymptomatic, meaning that they are contagious but display no symptoms. This is why it is a good idea to keep an eye out for coronavirus symptoms in those around you.

Flu Shots: Keeping Your Health in Check

This flu season, a flu shot is more important than ever. The flu and coronavirus share many common symptoms, meaning that you could easily mistake one for the other. By getting a flu shot, not only will you be protecting patients from the flu, but you will be able to rule the flu out if you start showing symptoms. 

Dialysis Nurse Jobs 

Are you interested in working as a travel nurse? If you are looking for flexibility and the ability to choose the location of your assignment, New Directions Staffing is here to help. We do the work of locating high demand travel nurse work for you, all while giving you a say in where to go. We offer our nurses a large resource list as well as our constant support. Working with New Directions Staffing will give you the chance to receive amazing benefits and compensation, as well as the job of your dreams! 

dialysis

3 Ways to Reduce Coronavirus Exposure During Dialysis

In the age of social distancing, there are still many necessary tasks we need to complete that require us to be closer than suggested. Healthcare workers have been working on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. However, other important health care needs still matter. This includes those services offered at Dialysis centers. These life-saving facilities are essential for patients all throughout the country. The medical experts who work at these facilities must ensure they do not transmit the harmful virus to their vulnerable patients. 

Caring for a High-Risk Group During a Pandemic 

Data collected in 2017 showed that there were around 750,000 individuals in the U.S. who had the end-stage renal disease (ESRD). At that time, the majority of them were treated using hemodialysis. 

Just having ESRD puts patients at a much higher risk of catching COVID-19 and having severe complications from the virus. Many individuals with ESRD are older and have other health complications. This places them in an even higher risk group during the pandemic. 

As the threat of the virus grew, many dialysis patients had concerns about how they would get the help they needed during this dangerous time. Some believe reducing their visits to the dialysis facility for treatment may help. But, that could actually cause some individuals to place themselves at an even higher health risk. 

For dialysis patients, the best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 is to find ways to minimize your exposure. All while still receiving the life-saving treatment you need. 

Here are 3 Ways Dialysis Centers are Minimizing Exposure to Patients During COVID-19

Minimizing Exposure 

Since the news of the coronavirus first broke, many dialysis facilities across the country began to take action quickly to protect their patients. However, most dialysis centers aren’t designed to cater to the needs of patients during a serious pandemic. Most dialysis centers are small locations that only have enough room for the patients they see each day and nothing else. These patients are often in close-quarters which can make things difficult during the current COVID-19 crisis. 

Segregating Dialysis Centers 

Near the end of March, some dialysis centers started designating certain shifts and even entire centers for patients confirmed or believed COVID-19 positive. A 3-tier system now exists. The first tier was for asymptomatic patients. The second was for those who possibly had infections. The third was for those confirmed to have the virus. While this method has worked well for some and there are plans to expand segregating dialysis centers throughout the country, there are some facilities with limited space or those that see too many patients who are unable to do this. 

Fewer Hours Spent at the Facility 

Several dialysis organizations have considered the idea of reducing dialysis patient’s hours. They feel that doing so would help to minimize the spread. While this is not optimal for some patients, those who can cut down without hindering their overall health are advised to do so, at least until social distancing is lifted. Of course, patients should always consult with their doctors first before they decide to cut down on dialysis treatments. Their doctor will know whether it is in the patient’s best interest to cut down on dialysis treatments. 

Find Work as a Dialysis Nurse and Do Your Part During the Coronavirus Pandemic 

If you have experience working as a dialysis nurse and would like to give travel nursing a try, New Directions Staffing has the opportunity for you. Learn more about current jobs available by visiting their website today.