Hemodialysis Nurse Responsibilities

Hemodialysis nurses are registered nurses specializing in providing special care to the patients with renal abnormalities or kidney problems. Hemodialysis nurse responsibilities comprise providing complete patient care while carrying out the hemodialysis procedures and safe handling of the relevant equipment to ensure that the assigned duties have been carried out successfully. The nurses may be involved in both, pre and post dialysis procedures. They assist in providing a valuable support to the patients who suffer from acute and chronic kidney disorders.

Key Responsibilities of a Hemodialysis Nurse

The hemodialysis nurse is also referred as the nephrology nurse and may be employed in a hospital, clinic, or a physician's office. He/she may also be required to deliver services at the patient's residence depending upon his/her condition. Hemodialysis basically deals with removing the toxins and the other waste material from the blood and ensuring that the returned blood is free from all the unwanted material. This is usually done with the aid of hemodialysis machine and the hemodialysis nurse is specifically trained on how to use it. The following points given below will help you in geting a general idea as to what exactly are the key responsibilities that need to be handled by a hemodialysis nurse:

  1. The hemodialysis nurse primes the bloodlines and dialyzer.
  2. He/she is responsible for recording all the patient's relevant medical history and the related data and is responsible for assessing the vital signs.
  3. He/she makes sure that the dialysis equipment is arranged for treatment and ensures that he/she is present throughout the entire process.
  4. He/she constantly monitors the patient's condition and administers the essential medication and helps in cannulating the accesses.
  5. He/she reports any irregular reactions that may have occurred during the entire process and communicates it to the appropriate person.
  6. He/she guides the patient and other relevant members on how to take care of the patient after the hemodialysis treatment. He/she advises on the diet and nutrition plans that need to be followed and designs an exercise regime so that the illness can be managed.

In addition to the above responsibilities, he/she also maintains the relevant medical inventory records. He/she ensures that all the departmental or facility procedures are being followed and that all the safety regulations are being adhered to. He/she answers the queries of the patients and makes sure that the patient's reactions to the dialysis procedures and other medications is being communicated to the doctors. He/she reviews the lab work and reports the findings to the respective physician.

The hemodialysis nurse records all the relevant information which will enable one to understand the effectiveness of the dialysis procedures on the patient. He/she makes sure that the machine is safe to use and reports if there are any defects. In fact, he/she arranges for their maintenance schedules. He/she makes requisitions for the necessary medication and supplies so that the superior quality services are being provided to the patients. In general, the basic objective of the hemodialysis nurse is to extract the toxins from the blood and to ensure that the blood running in the system is filtered, and also to make sure that the patient feels comfortable during the entire process. He/she also conducts tests before and after the dialysis procedures to determine the physical condition of the patient.

Essential Skills

The dialysis nurse should be caring and cooperative. He/she should be able to make the patient comfortable for the dialysis process and seek cooperation from them. He/she should be able to advise and guide the patients regarding their diet, exercise, nutrition, medication, and the related care that needs to be taken. He/she should have good listening skills and should be able to understand the patient's problems and provide solutions for the same. He/she should be patient, pay attention to the minute details, and should be able to function independently or in a team with minimum supervision. He/she should be able to assess the patient's condition and take appropriate decisions in emergency situations after consulting with the senior physicians.

Educational Background

The candidates who have completed a bachelor's or an associates degree in nursing would be the most suitable persons to apply for this type of job. A relevant job certification from Board of Nephrology Examiners and Nursing Equipment would be an added qualification. To be eligible for this certification, an individual should have previous exposure of working with hemodialysis patients.

Work Schedule

The patients with kidney problems need care round the clock and hence a hemodialysis nurse should be ready to work day and night. In case there is an emergency, he/she should be ready to work on the weekends and holidays. This job is physically demanding and hence he/she should be physically fit. The hemodialysis nurses are employed in home health-care services, hospitals, clinics, or may work in a doctor's office.

Salary Details

The starting salary for a hemodialysis nurse is $46,000. However, those with previous work experience in a similar position may get a salary ranging in between $86,000 to $94,000.

Career Prospects

The requirement for hemodialysis nurses is definitely going to increase in the coming years and there are more opportunities for those who specialize in providing home services.

In short, an individual who has in depth knowledge related to the treatment of kidney problems and is efficient in carrying out the nursing duties will surely be able to shoulder the hemodialysis nurse responsibilities efficiently.

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