In-Center Hemodialysis: Dialysis Care Day or Night

You have many dialysis treatment options, one of which is in-center hemodialysis. With this treatment, you schedule three four-hour treatments per week at a kidney dialysis center that’s fully staffed by a personalized care team. Some people prefer to go to a dialysis center for treatment because:

  • Treatment is administered by trained kidney care professionals.
  • They enjoy social interactions with fellow dialysis patients and staff.
  • Dialysis is only three times a week, leaving four free days.

After talking with your nephrologist, you may determine that in-center hemodialysis is right for your lifestyle.

How does in-center hemodialysis work?

Once you arrive at the dialysis center, the healthcare team—from the nurse to the facility administrator—will take care of all aspects of treatment.

First, your access area will be washed by a patient care technician (PCT). Once that’s complete, you will be weighed and escorted to your dialysis chair. Your standing and sitting blood pressure will be taken and a dialysis nurse will check your vitals before connecting you to the dialysis machine.

The typical dialysis session is four hours. During that time your care team will monitor your blood pressure and the dialysis machine’s performance. When the dialysis treatment time is up, they will disconnect you from the dialysis machine and record your vital signs again.

What can I do while I dialyze at a center?

You are free to read, watch television, work or play on your laptop, talk to other patients and care team members, sleep—whatever activity you can do from the dialysis chair. All DaVita® dialysis centers offer free Wi-Fi for people who want to be online during in-center treatments.

Who is taking care of me at the dialysis center?

You spend a lot of time—and place a lot of trust—with the people who care for you. A supportive kidney health care team can help make your experience more pleasant. At DaVita®, you’ll receive personal care and attention from a highly trained team of professionals that wants to help you maximize your quality of life.

Mason, an in-center hemodialysis patient, says he sees the dialysis care team as an extension of his family.

“The dialysis center plays such an important role in our lives that I don’t think many of the team members realize the full extent of the influence they have in our lives,” he says. “The smiles, the jokes and laughter give us strength to go on.”

What is in-center nocturnal dialysis?

Nocturnal dialysis is similar to in-center hemodialysis, but done overnight. For patients on nocturnal dialysis, they typically arrive at the dialysis center in the evening and receive approximately eight hours of dialysis treatment during the night. Patients sleep at the center three nights a week while they are attached to the dialysis machine. On nights when they dialyze, patients usually get into the center around 7:00 p.m. and are hooked up to the dialysis machine. They are able to bring their dinner, watch television, read a book, listen to music, chat with their health care team or each other, or any other activity they can do at dialysis.

Patients are asked to bring their pillow, blanket, toothbrush and other items to make them feel “at home.” At about 11:00 p.m. the lights are turned down. At that time people either fall asleep, or quietly continue their activities as not to disturb each other. After lights out, patients normally only have about four to five hours of treatment left. Treatment is usually over before 5:00 a.m. Patients are taken off dialysis and able to go home and start their days, usually before early-morning traffic.

The care team report that the nocturnal dialysis setting is more peaceful and relaxed than the daytime. The health care team and patients are able to spend more time talking to each other, building a good support system.

Is there a dialysis center near me?

DaVita has a number of outpatient dialysis centers located throughout the United States. As the largest independent provider of dialysis services in the United States, chances are good there will be a DaVita dialysis center near your home or work. Call DaVita Guest Services at 1-800-424-6589 or go to Find a Dialysis Center to locate a center near you.

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