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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.

hemodialysis

The Main Duties of Home Hemodialysis Nurses ​

Dialysis is a form of medical treatment for patients with renal disease that helps them enjoy a better quality of life. For many years, the only option for patients with renal disease or kidney failure had was to visit a local dialysis facility several times per week for treatment. Today, home hemodialysis treatment has made it possible for these patients to receive the treatment they need in the comfort of their own homes, with the help of a home hemodialysis nurse. 

What are the Benefits of Home Hemodialysis? 

Home hemodialysis treatment works the same as dialysis performed at a medical facility. Patients are able to do home hemodialysis treatment with or without the assistance of a nurse. Many patients, especially those who are older, prefer the help of a hemodialysis nurse. 

Here are a few of the benefits patients can receive when they choose home hemodialysis treatment. 

  • Patients enjoy a treatment in the comfort of their own homes without having to leave the house during bad weather or holidays. This allows them to save time and money on travel costs as well. 
  • Patients have the option to choose when they want to receive treatment based on recommendations from their doctor. This allows more flexibility for those who work, attend school, or wish to be more social. 
  • Dialysis patients and their care partners can insert their own needles, which is something that some patients prefer. However, they can always get assistance from a home hemodialysis nurse if needed. 
  • Home hemodialysis patients have more freedom with their diets if their doctor prescribes more frequent, at-home dialysis treatments. 

What are the Requirements to be a Home Hemodialysis Nurse? 

Home hemodialysis nurses can provide training for patients and their caregivers so that they may carry out the treatment on their own in the future. 

To work as a home dialysis nurse, you will need: 

  • To be an RN and licensed in the state you are practicing in
  • Have at least 3 months of experience working with either peritoneal or hemodialysis patients if you plan to independently teach patients at home

Training to be a home hemodialysis nurse must be medicare certified for home training and support, and they must teach the following: 

  • How to do the procedure
  • What to report to doctors or supervising nurses 
  • Resources and how to access them
  • Management of ESRD
  • How to properly handle medical and non-medical emergencies
  • Safety precautions for infection control
  • The proper tactics for waste storage and disposal 

What Type of Personality is Best For This Type of Nurse? 

Working as a home hemodialysis nurse is very different from working in a doctor’s office or emergency room setting. Because home training nurses are expected to provide training and support for patients and their caregivers, it’s important that you have plenty of patience and understanding. 

Many home hemodialysis nurses will create a strong relationship with their patients and doing so can be very useful when it comes to helping the patient understand the importance of training. Home training nurses need to be able to answer questions clearly and professionally. They should know how to individualize their answers to fit with the patient’s ability to understand. Also, they need to be both inside and out of the box thinkers. They must have the ability to solve problems even in stressful situations. 

Find Out About Home Hemodialysis Jobs for Travel Nurses 

If you meet all the requirements to work as a hemodialysis nurse, you can apply for work through New Directions Staffing. There you can find jobs available all throughout the country where you can work as a travel nurse helping out new patients in different cities.