The treatment process for End Stage Renal Disease is dependent on the collaborative efforts of a comprehensive team of individuals including your doctors, nurses and other trained professionals who carefully establish and organize your plan of care. The most important team member, however, is YOU.
Whether you choose in-center hemodialysis or at home peritoneal dialysis for your treatment modality, you will have a team of experts working with you. A personalized care plan will be developed for you, and you will be encouraged to participate.
MEET YOUR TEAM:
Your Nephrologist (kidney doctor):
When it is time to start dialysis, your kidney doctor will let you know. He or she will then contact the clinic and will begin to coordinate your treatments. During your time as a dialysis patient, your doctor will monitor your progress weekly and will make any necessary treatment changes.
Your Nurse Manager:
Your nurse manager is a registered nurse in charge of the dialysis center. He or she supervises your treatment team members and ensures that you are getting the care you need.
Your Primary Dialysis Nurse:
Your dialysis nurse supervises your in-center hemodialysis treatment as prescribed by your nephrologist and works closely with your patient care technician (PCT).
Your Home Program Coordinator -PD Nurse:
Your PD nurse works directly with the physician to establish your prescribed dialysis treatment and will train you on how to perform either manual exchanges in your home and/or how to connect to a cycler machine in your home at night. Once you are able to perform your peritoneal dialysis on your own, the PD nurse will continue to provide support and will be available for your questions and concerns.
Your Patient Care Technician (PCT):
Your PCT administers your dialysis treatment under the nurse’s direction and ensures that you are comfortable throughout your treatment.
Your Social Worker:
Starting dialysis is overwhelming, but your social worker helps you learn how to manage and keep your life as normal as possible. Your social worker can assist with insurance, work, travel and other financial concerns. Your social worker will also provide referrals to community resources that will help you cope with the ups and downs of dialysis.
When you are on dialysis, you will have to make specific choices that are necessary for you to thrive on dialysis and to maximize your quality of life. For some patients, this is a huge change in their lifestyle. Your renal (kidney) dietitian will develop a meal plan that is gentle on your body and provides you what you need. Your dietitian will also review your lab work with you every month and will advise you of dietary changes that may be needed to improve your health.
You (the patient):
You are the most important member of your dialysis team. It is proven that patients have better outcomes when they actively participate in their treatment plan. Being compliant, following your prescribed treatment regimen, taking your prescribed medications, following your recommended renal diet, and seeking emotional support from our professional staff members are beneficial to you and your long-term health.