Purpose and Mission
Renal nurses (or dialysis nurses) work with patients with kidney disease, and educates patients and families with regard to conditions and treatments. Also sometimes called nephrology nurses, these healthcare professionals have a variety of responsibilities ranging from clinical care to administration. Renal nurses work in community clinics, walk-in dialysis centres, hospital dialysis departments, transplant units, residential care, local government and nonprofit health care facilities and in the medical device and pharmaceutical industries.
Most renal nurses report to a nursing supervisor or dialysis department head. When working for a GP in a private dialysis group, a nurse may report to the doctor / owner / partner of the dialysis centre.
Senior dialysis nurses often coordinate and provide training and/or supervision for other dialysis-related personnel. However, nurses with less experience typically have few oversight duties.
Renal nurses are most commonly registered nurses (with a bachelor’s degree in most cases). Many dialysis nurses take additional training and move up to a specialist nursing role after a couple of years of general practice.
Keep in mind that RNs must have a valid Nursing Registration with the AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioners Agency) to practise with the public.
Responsibilities of a Renal Nurse
Dialysis nurses deal with patients of all ages with kidney disease. A nurse working in a dialysis unit is often also responsible for delivery of primary nursing care for patients with CKS. Typical duties may include: