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A young dialysis nurse with library as the background.

Education Requirements to Become a Dialysis Nurse 

Ever wondered what education is needed to become a dialysis nurse? Dialysis is the process of cleaning a patient’s blood and removing waste from it. These nurses are specialists that work with patients who have renal disease and other kidney-related health issues. Dialysis services help these patients who have kidney failure filter out the waste and any unnecessary fluids in their blood. 

What Does a Dialysis Nurse Do?

A dialysis nurse provides care to various types of patients. They see and treat patients who have illnesses that have compromised their kidneys, which results in kidney disease. These nurses are responsible for explaining the procedure to patients and setting up the necessary equipment used for the procedure. This equipment includes the hemodialysis machines. 

Dialysis nurses are also responsible for making sure all safety precautions are followed. They must administer the dialysis treatment and monitor the well-being of the patient throughout the treatment. They must also report all progress or issues to physicians. All dialysis nurses work in dialysis clinics or hospitals. They may also assist patients who take home dialysis treatments. 

Dialysis Nurse Education

Colleges and universities do not offer a specific dialysis nurse degree or education. Instead, to become a dialysis nurse, you will need to earn your bachelor’s degree in nursing. You may also apply for an associate’s degree in nursing to earn your RN license, however, a BSN leads to better pay and more job opportunities. Some nurses earn their RN licensure after they receive their ADN degree, then return to school to get their BSN afterward. 

Once you have earned either your BSN or ADN degree, you will need to pass the state registered nurse exam to become a licensed RN. You will need to work for at least one year, possibly two as an RN to gain real-world experience before you apply to become a dialysis nurse. There are some dialysis facilities and other employers that require you to become certified as a dialysis nurse before getting hired. Nurses can receive this certification through the Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission. 

How to Be a Good Dialysis Nurse 

Good dialysis nurses have a well-rounded set of skills. All dialysis procedures require acute attention to detail. These nurses are connecting complex machines to patients’ bodies and any small mistake could lead to a major problem. Therefore good communication and being able to focus on the task even if other things are happening in the background are two traits that a good dialysis nurse should have. 

These nurses must be well educated and have training in all areas of hemodialysis. The main priority of these nurses is the overall health and safety of their patients. A dialysis nurse needs to be able to fully explain the process of dialysis to new patients. It is also essential that these nurses have excellent social skills. Patients on dialysis often receive their treatment for prolonged periods. 

The process takes several hours to complete in most cases. Therefore the dialysis nurses have the opportunity to build up a rapport with their patients during this time. This means they will often build a strong relationship and have a genuine concern for the patients they treat regularly. Good bedside manner is very important since many of these patients will require dialysis services for years to come. 

Find a New Job as a Dialysis Nurse At New Directions Staffing 

Are you a dialysis nurse in search of new opportunities? Why not give travel nursing a try? Visit new places as you help out a variety of patients as well as your fellow nurses by finding a job at the New Directions Staffing website.

A nurse putting on protective gear to minimize COVID-19 spread.

How Nurses Can Minimize Risks of COVID-19 in Dialysis Facilities

Patients who receive dialysis treatment are at a higher risk of COVID-19. Nurses that work in dialysis facilities need to take preventative measures to minimize the risk of transmitting the disease between patients and themselves. Some of the preventative measures include educating themselves, staff members, and patients about the virus and screening patients and staff for the virus. Another important aspect is to separate the infected patients. 

What Dialysis Nurses Need to Know 

The WHO (World Health Organization) acknowledged the novel coronavirus disease as a global pandemic on March 11, 2020. Patients who are on routine dialysis are likely to be at a higher risk of COVID-19 and its complications. That’s because these people are usually older. In addition, they may have multiple conditions that suppress their immune systems like hypertension or diabetes. 

If you have several patients in the same small enclosed area, it increases the risk of catching the virus. Therefore, the appropriate strategies need to be put into place to ensure the facility and staff are preventing the spread of the virus. 

Here is some more information on what all dialysis nurses should know when caring for patients at the facility. 

Education 

Health care workers and patients should be educated on preventative measures while giving and receiving care during the pandemic. Hand and respiratory hygiene are at the top of the list of most important things, as well as coughing etiquette. When it is time to educate patients, caregivers should use terminology easy to understand and no medical jargon. All healthcare workers need to be educated on the use of PPE and should practice how to use it correctly. Ongoing education efforts are the key to helping prevent health care worker transmission of COVID-19. 

Patient Screening 

One of the best things that dialysis nurses can help with the screening process is calling the patients before they come. During the call, they can ask if the patient has any of the common COVID-19 symptoms. This approach is reliant on staff availability and therefore the screening process will be different for every dialysis facility. Face masks and hand sanitizers should be provided for all patients. Each patient needs to be at least six feet away from one another. And every facility needs to put together a triage plan to transfer patients for appropriate testing that is site-specific.

How to Manage Infected Patients 

Patients who show symptoms or are positive for COVID-19 should wear face masks to prevent the spread to others. And all symptomatic patients need to be at least six feet from everyone else. Some dialysis centers mandate the use of a face mask for every patient. All patients who are on home dialysis should be treated with the same protocols as those who are on-site when they attend the outpatient clinics. 

Become a Travel Nurse and Help in Dialysis Facilities 

Right now throughout the country, medical facilities like dialysis centers are needing additional help from nurses than ever before. If you have experience as a dialysis nurse and would like to give travel nursing a try, visit New Directions Staffing today to check out the current job listings.

Five Tips for Thriving as a Temporary Healthcare Worker

Taking on a job as a temporary healthcare worker has many benefits and disadvantages. It is not a job for everyone and involves a lot of stress. This is especially true for those who are just getting started with travel nursing jobs. 

5 Ways You Can Thrive As a Temporary Healthcare Worker 

The good news is there are ways to cope when you begin to feel overwhelmed. When working as a travel nurse, you take on many different tasks than those of a typical healthcare worker. Here are a few things you can do to help you thrive while you are taking on the role of a travel nurse. 

Take Advantage of Flexible Scheduling 

Staying organized and maintaining a schedule are two main factors for balancing your personal life and career. This is especially true for those involved in travel nursing. Temporary workers often have a more flexible schedule. And if you use your free time wisely, you can organize your tasks and create a schedule that works for you. Use your free time to run necessary errands or plan your meals for the week. This will make your daily tasks a little less stressful. 

Find Ways to Ignore Things That Waste Your Time 

It can be easy to get distracted no matter what industry you are in. But when you are working as a travel nurse, there seem to be so many more things out there that can waste your time. It’s always a good idea to take breaks as needed, but when things start to make you less productive while on the job, it’s important to identify them and ignore them as much as possible. Try to avoid or put a limit on irrelevant conversations with patients or your co-workers. This allows you to complete your work in time so you can take care of other necessary tasks as needed. 

Take Time to Take Care of Yourself 

Nurses often take on the double duty of caring for their patients and their families at home. While both are very important, it is also essential that you take the time to care for yourself. You will not be of any help to others if you do not have any energy or aren’t feeling well. Make sure you are eating well, drink plenty of fluids, and visit the doctor as soon as possible if any issues come up. 

Identify Your Priorities 

When you are feeling stressed out and overwhelmed, it’s a good idea to take a step back and look at what is most important in your life. Balancing work and life can be stressful, but when you put your priorities in perspective, you can start focusing on completing your most important tasks first and stop worrying about things that are irrelevant. Worrying about how clean your home is for instance, could be further down on your list than making sure you stay focused on work, or setting aside time each day to spend with your family. 

Take a Break 

Thanks to modern technology, we are always connected to the important people in our lives. For travel nurses and others who work on flexible schedules, that could mean you are also on-call at any time. Constantly thinking about a last-minute call into work at any moment can be extremely stressful. Therefore, you should take a break and let others know that there are specific times during the day when you can’t take calls or agree to new tasks. 

If you would like to learn more about becoming a temporary worker, or if you are interested in browsing current temp positions in your area, check out our job listings for medical professionals at New Direction Staffing today. We update our list constantly with the latest job postings for those with experience in the healthcare industry.