Pros and Cons of Dialysis Nursing: World Kidney Day

World Kidney Day 2018 is here, so it seems like a good time to discuss a nursing specialty that allows you to make a difference in the lives of patients who are suffering from kidney disease. Dialysis nursing jobs are in high demand right now, and the U.S. Department of Labor predicts these jobs will continue to grow over time. This is because about 10 percent of the population is affected by kidney disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dialysis nurses are also earning competitive salary rates. With that said, here are the pros and cons of dialysis nursing.

Pros and Cons of Dialysis Nursing: The Benefits

Let’s start with the positives in the pros and cons of dialysis nursing. The three benefits to working as a dialysis nurse are that you can travel, you’ll have plenty of choices, and you’ll really be able to make a difference in the lives of your patients.

You can travel

Here on there are thousands of travel dialysis nursing jobs available throughout the United States. Travel positions are available to those who have at least a year or more of experience working in dialysis, but they’re a great way to break a routine, see the country, and build your career in nursing.

There are a variety of dialysis settings

The good thing about dialysis jobs is that you have a variety of options. You can work in nursing homes, hospice centers, provide home care and in outpatient centers, to name a few. This allows you to pick what kind of hours and environment you want to work in.

Experience personal connections with patients

Working as a dialysis nurse will give you the opportunity to build personal connections with your patients. People who come to dialysis are typically on a fixed treatment schedule, so you’ll see them routinely. This will allow you to have a very direct impact on not only their treatment plan but their experience as they receive care.

A nurse giving a patient dialysis to show the pros and cons of dialysis nursing

Pros and Cons of Dialysis Nursing: The Down Side

Now, let’s cover the downside part of the pros and cons of dialysis nursing. There are a few downsides to dialysis nursing, such as long work hours, very sick patients, and high burnout rates.

You’ll have to work long hours

Most of the time, dialysis nurses work very long hours. You can expect to be on your feet all day and the job can take a toll on your body. In addition to that, because the job itself is routine, you won’t experience much variety in your day to day responsibilities. You also have to pay close attention to detail and literally and figuratively be on your toes at all times. Patient lives are in your hands, so you can’t afford to mess up.

Your patients could be very sick

Since your patients are receiving dialysis as they await a kidney transplant, they are very sick. Although you’ll get the benefit of building personal relationships with your patients, there’s a downside to that. For example, if a patient doesn’t make it, you’re going to feel that pain personally. There’s a lot of emotional stress that can occur, so patient relationships are probably one of the most important pros and cons of dialysis nursing to keep in mind.

Burnout is high in dialysis

As mentioned above, dialysis nurses work long hours and get very involved with their patients’ wellbeing. Therefore, burnout tends to be high in dialysis. Although traveling can help with that, keep in mind that you may not be cut out for a long-term career in this specialty. Despite that possibility, it’s important to experience the pros and cons of dialysis nursing for yourself.

What are some additional pros and cons of dialysis nursing? Share with us in the comments below!

Author: Lenay Ruhl

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