FAQs

About DaVita (operational questions, job-related questions)

I have a perfect location for a DaVita center. Whom should I contact?

Send an email to questions@davita.com.

How can I get a job at DaVita? What kind of experience do I need?

Visit the Careers section of DaVita.com.

You will find a posting of jobs available throughout DaVita. Click on the job(s) that interest you to get a Job Description including: Summary, Qualifications and Job Functions. If you would like to be considered for a posted position, please click on “Submit Your Application” and follow directions.

How can I volunteer at a DaVita center?

DaVita has a volunteer program called Village Greeters that welcomes volunteers and recognizes and rewards them for reaching certain benchmarks. To volunteer at a DaVita center, please call the PEP Department at (310) 536-2623, or send an email to villagegreeter@davita.com. You can locate a DaVita center nearest to your home or office by using the DaVita.com Find a Dialysis Center tool.

I have a complaint about a center, whom can I contact?

Patients have the right to have their grievances handled promptly and courteously. When you began dialysis you should have received a copy of the center’s Patient Grievance Procedure form. If you do not have a copy, ask the receptionist at your center for the form. You can discuss your grievance with your center’s Facility Administrator (FA) and/or Medical Director. If you feel uncomfortable speaking with the center’s FA or Medical Director, contact your local ESRD Network (www.esrdnetworks.org).  

 

About DaVita.com (finding articles, navigating the site)

I can’t login your website because my password doesn’t work.

To get your website password, use our password retrieval tool.

My username and password don’t work when I go into the Discussion Forum.

To join the Discussion Forum you need a User Name and a new password that is different from the one you created when you registered. You can register for the Discussion Forums by clicking the "Register" link on the main forums page or using this link to the forums registration form. If you have forgotten your Discussion Forum password, you can use the forum password retrieval tool.

What do you mean by "posts" and "threads" on your Discussion Forum? How do I submit my questions and who answers them?  

The DaVita.com Discussion Forum is a place where you can interact with other website visitors. Each "forum" is a broad topic that has been created by the DaVita.com team as a starting point for discussion. Within the forum you can start a discussion by creating a "thread." If you want to contribute your thoughts to a thread that interests you, you can “post” a reply. Each broad topic “forum” contains discussion “threads” where people communicate by entering “posts.” For example: In the "Diet/Nutrition" forum there is a thread called "Protein" and several posts regarding the effects of a high protein diet. Go to the Discussion Forum.

 

Dialysis (questions about treatment, living on dialysis, etc.)

Can you tell me what dialysis is and why it is needed?

Dialysis is a treatment that removes wastes and excess fluid from the blood when the kidneys are not able to do that on their own. A good place to start learning about dialysis is in our Dialysis - The Basics article section. This section can provide you with information about the dialysis process, how to choose a dialysis center, how people feel and how their lifestyle changes on dialysis. You may also want to check out the Treatment Options area of the site, which explains more about hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.

I have to start dialysis in a few months. What will they do to me?

DaVita.com created a video called “Your first day on dialysis.” It was designed to show people what to expect at dialysis treatment. The video features five DaVita patients sharing their dialysis experiences and shows what happens during dialysis. You can also look at more footage about kidney disease and dialysis in the video section. There are many helpful articles about dialysis in our dialysis education area

I am currently starting on hemodialysis. I want to understand how the dialysis machine works.

When you go to a dialysis center for treatment, the person who is responsible for knowing about the dialysis machine is the bio-med tech. A DaVita bio-med tech, Joe S., wrote an article explaining how the hemodialysis machine works. In addition to reading about the dialysis machine, feel free to ask a healthcare member at your center any questions you may have.

Do you have a listing of your centers across the US?

You can arrange for dialysis treatment when traveling by using the DaVita.com Find a Dialysis Center tool. You can also call toll free 1-800-244-0680 and a DaVita Guest Services Representative will be happy to help. Your social worker will also be helpful in planning for dialysis during your travels.

I will be traveling outside of the US, how can I find a dialysis center in another country?

Use the DaVita.com Find a Dialysis Center tool for U.S. travel. When traveling outside of the US, it is best to talk with your Social Worker well in advance of your trip. If you would like to check online, there is an international dialysis placement website at Globaldialysis.com.

How can I receive dialysis if I do not have insurance?

Your social worker can help with financial issues, including getting insurance.

Why is there a lack of vascular access over time? What can be done early on that may prevent this from happening?

The vascular access allows the patient’s blood to travel to and from the dialysis machine at a large volume and high speed so that toxins, waste and extra fluid can be removed from the body. Over time an access can become narrow and blocked because of scar tissue build up. To learn more about the different access types and how to care for your access, read the article, Vascular Access—Your Lifeline to Hemodialysis.

The lack of vascular access can begin long before a patient starts on hemodialysis. Arteries and veins can be narrowed, clotted or scarred from various types of injuries. Common activities such as drawing blood for laboratory samples, intravenous (IV) injections or frequent blood pressure compressions in the same area may, over time, hurt blood vessels and cause them to be unable to be used for long time hemodialysis vascular access. Patients’ larger vessels such as in the upper arms, neck and chest areas may be traumatized by the placement of pacemaker wires or large catheters during hospitalizations or some outpatient procedures.

Patients who know that they may have chronic kidney disease and may some day require hemodialysis are encouraged to protect their arms arteries and veins by not allowing blood samples, intravenous (IV) injections or frequent blood pressure compressions in their arms.  Once beginning hemodialysis patients are encouraged to continue to protect their blood vessels by learning all they can about their vascular access options, care and management.

How long can a person go without a dialysis treatment?

If you are on dialysis, you know the importance of receiving your treatments as scheduled. When you miss dialysis treatments the toxins build up in your blood causing you to become sick. The longer you go without treatments, the sicker you will become. Naturally, every person is different, but generally how long a person can go without dialysis depends on the amount of kidney function they still have. If someone is passing a reasonable amount of urine, they may be able to survive a few weeks to over a month. For someone who makes little or no urine the time would be a few days to a couple weeks.

Is depression common in dialysis patients?

People diagnosed with a chronic disease have to make many adjustments in their lives. In addition to all the physical changes, they will experience a range of emotions. Fear, anxiety, denial, anger and depression are all common emotions. To learn more about depression and other emotions  that may affect patients with kidney disease, go to the article "

How can I donate a kidney?

You can arrange to donate one of your kidneys as a living donor or both of your kidneys after your death. Almost anyone 18 years or older can choose to become a donor. Learn more about being a living donor, the National Kidney Foundation website provides helpful information. You can also learn more about organ and tissue donations here on DaVita.com.

 

Chronic kidney disease (questions not related to dialysis, but about kidney disease)

How can I learn more about kidney disease and how to delay dialysis?

In addition to the articles available at DaVita.com, you can learn about kidney disease through DaVita’s kidney disease education program, Kidney Smart℠ . Kidney Smart provides an online interactive learning program as well as in-person classes taught by kidney care professionals in neighborhoods throughout the country. To start learning or to find a class in your area, go to DaVita.com/KidneySmart today.

Do you have any support groups that I can contact?

You are invited to visit the DaVita.com Discussion Forum. The Discussion Forum is a place where people with chronic kidney disease, their caregivers, family members and friends can go for support. Forums include: Share Your Experiences, Lifestyle, Education, Inspiration and Caregiver Support. You can connect with people who connect with you at the DaVita.com Discussion Forum.

In addition to the online Discussion Forum, dialysis patients, pre-dialysis patients and their families can join Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC). DPC is a nonprofit, independent patient organization dedicated to improving the lives of dialysis patients through education and advocacy. Go to www.dialysispatients.org to learn more.

Do you have a cookbook with your recipes all together?

Currently, we have two no-cost downloadable DaVita® Cooking Collections on DaVita.com: DaVita Kidney Diet Delights and Healthy Cooking with Diabetes. You are also invited to visit the Kidney-Friendly Recipes section where you will find delicious, kidney-friendly recipes for the CKD non-dialysis, dialysis and diabetic diets that you can print for free. New recipes are added all the time under the categories of: Appetizers & Snacks; Breakfast & Brunch; Breads; Salads & Salad Dressings; Beef, Lamb & Pork; Chicken & Turkey; Seafood; Pasta, Rice & Grains; Pizza & Sandwiches; Soups & Stews; Sauces & Seasonings; Vegetables; Beverages; Desserts.

My last blood test revealed an elevation in my creatinine level. What does this indicate?

Creatinine is a waste product in the blood that comes from muscle activity. Healthy kidneys remove creatinine from the blood. As kidney function slows down, creatinine level goes up. With a creatinine level, you can figure out a glomerular filtration rate (GFR) using the DaVita.com  GFR calculator. GFR is the best measure of kidney function and it tells the stage of kidney disease. Talk with a doctor about GFR and what treatment is best for you.

What does the renal artery do?

There are two renal arteries—one for the right kidney, the other for the left. Renal arteries are the main arteries that supply blood to the kidneys. Blood with waste enters the kidney through the renal artery. Once the blood is processed through the kidneys it goes back into the body through the renal veins. To see how kidneys work, check out the “Animated learning module” in our kidney disease educational area.

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