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Home > Medical Services > Dialysis > What to Expect
When you begin dialysis, you will be assigned a permanent time for your three-times-per-week treatments, which are on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. You will be assigned a starting time on the first, second or third shift.
Your direct care staff includes registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, paramedics and technicians. All staff have been trained and gone through a period of orientation in order to provide care to dialysis patients. You will be assigned a primary direct care staff person. This staff person is responsible for meeting with you monthly and providing a verbal and written report on your monthly lab values. Your primary will also report on you monthly to the interdisciplinary team.
Other members of the interdisciplinary team include the renal care coordinator, peritoneal dialysis clinician, social worker and dietitian.
The renal care coordinator will work with you in the management of your access and in providing dialysis education. The peritoneal clinician works with patients who are performing peritoneal dialysis treatments at home.
The social worker will address such issues as functioning in your current living arrangement; family/marital roles and relationships; mental and mood status; learning needs; work/education; death and dying issues; and finances and insurance.
The dietitian will address such issues as potassium and phosphorus control; fluid control; sodium control; albumin; and coordinating medical diets.
There are a number of ways you can get information, a question or a request to your physician. A nephrologist may make rounds during your shift. You can tell the staff person putting you on the dialysis machine if you would like to talk with the doctor. You can also make your request known to the Shift Supervisor, who will contact your doctor. Or, you may make an appointment with your nephrologist to be seen in his or her office.
Unless you are going in for a face-to-face visit, you will receive a quicker response from your doctor by going through the dialysis unit. A nephrologist is on-call around the clock and can be accessed in an emergency when Dialysis is closed. You can reach the on-call nephrologist by calling your doctor's office. Be sure to specify you are a dialysis patient.