Acute Dialysis Nurse Job Description

Acute dialysis includes all extracorporeal techniques applied in order to treat acute kidney failure. When renal functions are considered to be severely weakened because of a circulatory collapse, acute dialysis is used for the patients in the intensive care. These patients have an excess of water in their body and an accumulation of uremic toxins and when medication can no longer treat acute kidney failure, the extracorporeal treatment is needed. These patients need care from a person who has been trained to use advanced dialysis equipment, to help them through treatment; such a person is the dialysis nurse with advanced qualifications.

Main Duties

Acute dialysis nurses often work independently and are considered as a main contributor helping patients, taking care of their treatments and informing their families about the type of care needed. These nurses are in charge of all duties concerning the kidney disease patients, such as performing the same routine as all the nurses are supposed to, but they also have to determine what are the risk factors which may affect the patient, must inform the patient about his/her treatment and watch the monitoring dialysis. Throughout the dialysis, the nurse checks if the machine functions correctly, checks the vital signs of the patient and terminates the procedures when the time is up. Moreover, if the patient needs to have dialysis in their homes, because of some issues, then the dialysis nurse is responsible for teaching the members of the family, how to use properly the dialysis machine and has to make sure that they understand which the safety formalities are.

Educational Qualification

One must have a degree in nursing and must have passed the national licensing exam (NCLEX-RN). Nurses are trained on the job and there are some specific courses that are available to supply theoretical education about dialysis nursing. The Certified Dialysis Nurse (CDN) claims the nurse to have minimum one year of experience with about 2000 hours spent working in dialysis nursing and this must be completed in two years before the attempt of one to become certified as a nurse.

Once someone becomes a registered dialysis nurse, s/he starts by assisting doctors and nephrologist in dialysis treatment processes, where s/he makes sure to initiate documentation about the patient's acute dialysis diagnosis and take care of lab reports and medications. Dialysis nurses are able to choose if they want to work with chronic or acute care units and can choose to work for smaller or private clinics too. In terms of wages, dialysis nurses can earn approximately $65,000 annually, but the salary depends on the experience and the duration of work. However, the acute dialysis nurse is considered an important member of the health care department and is in high demand.