Your Healthcare Team
Your healthcare team is composed of many people and YOU are the most important part of this team. The team is lead by a kidney doctor known as a nephrologist and includes a facility administrator, nurses, social workers, dietitians, technicians, and secretaries.
You: You are responsible for coming to your dialysis treatments, taking your medications, managing your nutrition and physical activity and following any other aspect of your care. The more involved you are in your care, the healthier you will be.
Nephrologist: Your kidney doctor directs all facets of your dialysis care.
Nurses: Most often these individuals are registered nurses (RN). The RN is responsible for overseeing the delivery of care by the healthcare team based upon the doctor’s orders and facility procedures. They will be in close contact with you in order to manage your overall needs.
Social Worker: The social worker helps with issues related to the emotional adjustment to dialysis working with both you and your family. They assist with seeking financial support systems, transportation services and many other issues important to the success of dialysis.
Dietitian: The dietitian will educate you on the how to manage your renal diet while on dialysis. They review lab results with you and develop strategies to improve your overall well-being.
Technician: Technicians are most often the people who perform the hemodialysis treatment. In-center, they set up the dialysis machine, program the machine per the physician’s prescription, place needles, monitor the treatment, and break down the machine after treatment. In the home dialysis setting, technicians may help with teaching you how to use the various types of home dialysis equipment. Technicians also do lab tests. Behind the scenes, they perform machine repair and testing, supply ordering and artificial kidney reuse.
Facility Administrator: This individual may or may not be a nurse. Their primary responsibilities include ensuring the overall operation of the facility including clinical performance (how well care is delivered); maintaining a safe environment, hiring, training and managing staff, and ensuring compliance with federal, state and other regulations.
Secretary: The secretary is usually the first person you will interact with when entering the facility. They will help you register on your first date of dialysis, contact your transport provider and maintain your insurance information.