There is a large need for experienced nurses to carry out dialysis treatments, which means there is a large need for specialized dialysis nurses. Dialysis nurses are also known as nephrology nurses. As you may know, nephrology means “relating to the kidneys.”
If connecting with and supporting long-term patients is appealing to you, check out a day in the life of the dialysis nurse:
What a Dialysis Nurse Does
Generally speaking, a dialysis nurse oversees and administers dialysis to patients from start to finish. They check patients’ vital signs and evaluate their response to the treatment and various assistive medications. However, a dialysis nurse is also responsible for teaching patients about their condition and helping them to make lifestyle choices that will aid in recovery.Need a little time to get to know your patients? Consider becoming a dialysis #nurse! This article from @FreedomHCS has all the details: Click To Tweet
Dialysis treatments are very precise procedures, so nephrology nurses must be extremely detail-oriented. They must also be charismatic and have strong motivational skills in order to reach patients on a personal level. Many of the lifestyle changes required to aid in kidney function and recovery are difficult for patients to accept.
There are generally two types of work environments for a nephrology nurse: hospital work and outpatient/clinical work. Clinical dialysis nurses have some benefits that most nurses don’t. Due to the nature of kidney disease and kidney failure, dialysis patients are usually regular, long-term visitors. A dialysis nurse in an outpatient setting has the opportunity to get to know their patients much better than in a traditional hospital setting. The hours are also much more regular than most hospital positions because dialysis patients visit mainly during the weekdays. Some nurses even go to patient’s homes to administer the dialysis treatment.
Currently, more than 660,000 Americans are being treated for kidney failure. As the elderly population in the U.S. rises, we can expect to see the amount of dialysis treatments increase as well. So although kidney transplants have been more successful in recent years, we still expect there to be a high demand for dialysis nurses in the foreseeable future.660,000 Americans are being treated for kidney failure. Choose a #nursing career that will make a difference in their lives. @FreedomHCS Click To Tweet
The average range of salary for a registered nurse or an advanced practice registered nurse falls between $44,000 and $95,000. The highest-paying jobs are in hospitals because of the more on-demand and unpredictable nature of hospital dialysis work.
How to Become One
Depending on the level you’d like to achieve, becoming a dialysis nurse out of highschool can take anywhere from 2-6 years. Dialysis nurses are LPNs or RNs. There is no undergraduate major for nephrology, so nurses must request a clinical rotation in a dialysis setting to get the experience they need.
Before beginning actual work, a dialysis nurse needs to be licensed in the state they wish to work in. For traveling dialysis nurses, this may mean multiple certifications. If the end goal is to become an advanced practice dialysis nurse (APRN), graduate schools offer specialties in nephrology.
In general, nurses are extremely caring and generous individuals. Because dialysis is such an involved, lengthy and detail-oriented process, dialysis nurses must be even more dedicated. However, they are also given the opportunity to build relationships with their patients and see real results. While every nursing job is rewarding, being a dialysis nurse provides a special opportunity to make a lasting difference in a patient’s life.
Are you already a dialysis nurse or working to become one? Choose Freedom Healthcare to help you along your journey and kick off an amazing travel career. Apply with us today!