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Patient Connection is a Draw for Dialysis Nurses

Patient Connection is a Draw for Dialysis Nurses

Heather Stringer | Monster Contributing Writer

Home Dialysis

Elaine DeVoe, RN, CNN, also focuses on patient education, but she trains patients on how to perform dialysis at home independently. DeVoe, a nurse with Fresenius Medical Care in New Jersey, works with patients who are learning either hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis, a treatment that uses a stomach catheter to cleanse the body of toxins.

“It is rewarding to be able to get these patients home,” DeVoe says. “It gives them a more flexible schedule and increased independence.”

These patients must be trained to manage a rigorous program that can range from three treatments a week for several hours each cycle up to nightly treatments of 10 hours. DeVoe teaches patients how to troubleshoot problems, how to avoid having excess fluid in their bodies, how to take vital signs and the importance of taking their prescription drugs.

Many dialysis patients go on to lead independent lives for years, thus deepening their bonds with the nurses they see regularly. Foster admits that this bond can also make it more difficult to lose the patients, but the cost is well worth the benefit she imparts to them.

“I highly encourage nurses who are looking for a job shift to consider dialysis because of the relationship factor,” she says. “Patients bring a lot of issues with them, and you deal with the patient on a personal level. You treat the patient physically, mentally and sometimes spiritually.”

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