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Research shows that dialysis patients who are actively involved in and take direct accountability for their care, generally experience and sustain improved clinical outcomes. By taking a more active role in your dialysis treatment, you may find that you are empowered and feel a renewed control over your life.
In-center self care hemodialysis is a program offered in many dialysis centers that makes it possible for you, and your care partner if you desire one, to take part in your dialysis treatment. In DaVita dialysis centers, you and/or your care partner may select to perform some or all of the treatment. Other dialysis centers may offer in-center self care hemodialysis, but could require you perform the complete treatment instead of some of the tasks. Before performing in-center self care, registered nurses and patient care technicians will teach and assist you in becoming competent on how to perform dialysis. After you have mastered your skills, you will perform the skill on your own, and because you are in a dialysis center, there will always be nurses and patient care technicians nearby. The health care professionals will be there to support you, answer your questions and lend a helping hand if you should need one.
Many patients believe dialysis is a medical procedure best left to health care professionals. However, studies have shown that dialysis patients who take an active role in their treatments tend to:
Many people who have been diagnosed with a chronic illness report feeling that they are no longer in control of their life or their bodies. Dealing with the loss of kidney function can be overwhelming; however, those who become more active in their dialysis treatment say they feel more positive having regained more control of their lives.
In addition to learning more about kidney disease and performing hemodialysis, in-center self care dialysis patients tend to follow the advice of their health care team more closely than other patients regarding staying on dialysis the full time and maintaining their dialysis diet. These behaviors may help in-center self care patients achieve better clinical outcomes.
You and your care partner, if you want a partner, may not want to perform the entire treatment process, but there may be some skills that you would like to perform on your own. For this reason, DaVita In-Center Self Care lets you pick and choose from a variety of activities.
When doing in-center self care hemodialysis, you can learn how to:
Most patients can perform all of these skills alone or with the help of their care partner; however, some patients would rather have a health care professional be responsible for some of the skills. Many patients who wish to do home hemodialysis (HHD) start by performing in-center self care.
Training for in-center self care takes place at your dialysis center, sometimes in a separate room dedicated to self care. At the beginning of your training, you will simply watch and listen while your training nurse or patient care technician explains each process. If you have been doing in-center hemodialysis treatments, you will already be familiar with the hemodialysis process. As you learn each skill, you will be able to perform that skill yourself.
The time that it takes to learn each skill varies depending on how quickly you learn. It could take only a couple weeks to learn the skills or it could take a couple months. There is no rush and no deadline to learn the skills for in-center self care hemodialysis. Some patients slowly build up skills over time as they gain confidence and experience.
The single most important factor in deciding if in-center self care hemodialysis is right for you is whether or not you have the desire to learn. If you want to learn, your in-center self care team can work with you to teach you the skills necessary to take part in your hemodialysis treatments.
It is also helpful if you have a vascular access that functions well, basic manual dexterity, adequate vision and a positive attitude when it comes to taking direction from your training team.
Whether you want to use in-center self care hemodialysis as a training program to transition to home hemodialysis or wish to take part in some of your dialysis treatment in the center, talk to your nurse to find out more about in-center self care.
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