Roles of a Renal Dialysis Nurse
The Renal Dialysis Nurse has several roles to fulfill. These roles include being direct caregivers, counselors and specialists. Nephrology Nurses must be very knowledgeable in their field. They must be experts at initiating and terminating specialized IV lines. RDNs must also be quick thinkers and they have to have an updated knowledge about Basic and Advance Life Support.
The need for Life Support training and expertise comes from the fact that most Renal Dialysis Units are sometimes located outside hospital premises. Dialysis patients are also susceptible to cardiac arrests and fluid volume overloads. This means that a Renal Dialysis nurse has to have the ability to be able to revive their patients in case of emergencies.
Renal Dialysis Nurses may also play the role of Nurse Educators. Advance Practice Nurses (APNs) and Renal Dialysis Clinical Specialist are usually the ones called to become educators. They may work in clinics educating patients about prevention and lifestyle changes. They may also educate fellow nurses and hospital staff on the advances of Renal Nursing. APNs may also work as researchers in the field of Renal Dialysis Nursing.
RDNs should also be prepared to take on the role of Counselors. They should be ready to handle any concerns emanating from patients and their families. It is important to keep in mind that some patients who undergo renal dialysis suffer from ESRD (End Stage Renal Disease). Patients with ESRD are often concerned about their mortality. As a result, nurses may have to deal with a lot of patients and families that are anticipatorily grieving.
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