Dialysis registered nurses are registered nurses (RNs) who specialize in the process of dialysis, which is a procedure that cleans the blood of patients who have kidney disease. RNs have at least a bachelor’s degree in nursing and have passed their state's exam to become an RN. RNs who work with dialysis patients must have a few years of prior experience.
Dialysis RNs are responsible for performing assessments on patients both before and after the dialysis procedure. They check vital statistics, ask about current health and check the medications that a patient is taking. They may also administer medication(s) to a patient before or after the treatment.
Dialysis RNs must also set up the dialysis machines before each patient arrives, and they will break the machines down after each patient is finished with a treatment. They monitor the treatment throughout, ensuring that patients are comfortable and that there are no malfunctions with the machines or IV lines. They are responsible for answering patient questions and addressing any problems that may happen during the course of the treatment.
Dialysis RNs may also consult with doctors to make sure that treatment is being given as prescribed. They must document all activities with their patients in a medical file, writing down notes about the process being sure to document any incidents. Dialysis RNs are on their feet for the majority of their shift. They should also be good at staying focused and having a keen eye for detail as there are many steps to setting patients up with the treatment and releasing them for the day.