“Follow us on the Kidney Trails where the Protein of knowledge never ends!”
It’s Monday morning, we had a teammate call out this morning. Not to mention that this is the first Monday after Thanksgiving. Luckily in my pod I only have three patients instead of four. We have a patient that’s absent today. You see, as a Nephrology Clinical Technician( Dialysis Technician) this helps in more ways than one. It gives me time to take a breather, collect my thoughts, and fortify. Indeed I am not celebrating that I have an absent patient. I’m full of joy because my absent patient for my second shift got a call last night for a Kidney Transplant. So it’s safe to say I am celebrating that he isn’t here. Respectfully. So in his place in my pod, I have a brand new patient coming today whom this will be her first dialysis treatment. Good thing is I can take my time with her, explain our way of doing her treatment and provide the utmost care for her as well as all of our patients. Her name is A.W, African American female age 47, Type 2 Diabetes, history of hypertension, newly matured left lower fistula access. Her appointment time is 09:15, so luckily I have forty five minutes until my next patient appointment for dialysis. Now keep in mind forty five minutes in the Hemodialysis world means you technically have only twenty five minutes. We are always racing against the clock. I approach the lobby waiting area and I see her in the far right chair in the corner. I walk up to introduce myself to her by saying, “ Good morning Mrs.W, my name is Dwelyn Williams and I am a Hemodialysis Technician that will assist with your hemodialysis treatment today”!.. she pauses and says” Hi”.. I replied, “ Everything will be just fine and we will get through this, together”. “Now, if you don’t mind may I ask you a few questions concerning the issues revolves around the pandemic of COVID-19/ Coronavirus that we are experiencing and I will need to take your temperature.” She replied , ”Ok”!. “ “Do you have any SOB, muscle weakness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, signs of a fever, been around anyone experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus, headaches, loss of appetite, etc.?” She replied with a blank stare “ No but why did you call me an SOB? “ As I laughed , I do apologize the acronym SOB means Shortness Of Breath. She says “ Ohhhh”! With slight embarrassment but mild giggle. After I took her temperature with a perfect 97.6 reading orally. I gave her the mask that’s required and guided her through the doors of the treatment floor making our way to the weight scale, sometimes there are things that we have to avoid so it is best that I assist her to the scale. The look on her face, well being that during this time of the pandemic we all are wearing a mask and are left with the only option of just reading someone’s expression through their eyes. And let me tell you, A.W eyes defined a Deer in Headlights. So after we obtained Mrs.W weight, it read 76.5 and her eyes got even bigger. She was startled. She said I have lost so much weight since the hospital. I used to weigh more than this…” I Don’t Know About This”,. So I asked, “ How much weight did you lose?”. She said” A lot!! “ I used to weigh at least 100 pounds and this Dialysis is shrinking me. As I snickered a bit well to inform you, we here at our clinic follow a standard of weighing our patients in kilograms instead of pounds. So with that being said, 76.5 is your weight in kilograms. Would you like to know your weight in pounds? She says,” Ohhhh, sure , uh I guess , I don’t know! I replied as I whispered in her ear,” Your weight is 168.3 pounds.” She says” Ahhhh, I feel better now!” “ But did you know that?” “We as professionals in the clinic setting convert kilograms to pounds by using the method of multiplying by 2.2 to determine a patient’s weight in pounds, and division of 2.2 to determine a patient’s weight in kilograms. She says , “ Oh my, You all have to do all that?” Yes ma’am indeed we do. “ Mrs. W let’s walk to your dialysis chair where you will be sitting for the remainder of your treatment. You’re in station number seven. My section is labeled Jamaica. As she looked around our facility of twenty four stations , people talking, laughing, sleeping, tv’s playing, machines beeping, computers, supplies of big boxes, people walking extremely fast , everyone wearing masks, people staring, wheelchairs, hoyer lifts, phones ringing, etc….. She stares at her chair with the number seven and the title Jamaica Pod above it and she suddenly seems concerned but yet more relaxed. ” Mrs. W, are you okay?” She says,” Yes, it’s just that….. Well my lucky number is seven and my father was from Spanish Town, Jamaica. This clinic just took me back to days remembering my father. Even though this is my first dialysis treatment in an outpatient facility , I think I will be okay. Despite all that’s going on, I do admire how this clinic has stimulating decorations and seems kinda fun here…. I guess!” “ Mrs.W, our Team decided a few months back if we decorate each of our six pods in reference to travel destinations or a place of somewhat peace to dialyze our patients in, it may make them feel more at home. Our goal here in Phoenix is to make you feel at home no matter where you are from. Welcome home.
To Be Continued………Tune in every Sunday to see what happens next to A.W.
CCHT, Immediate Past President NANT
Fresenius Kidney Care-Arcadia
4 thoughts on ““ I Don’t Know About This “( A Renal Patients Initial Treatment)”
This is a true, realistic view of the patient experience. Thank you for sharing!
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Thank you Twana for your wonderful remarks. Indeed as a writer and an experienced Nephrology Clinical Technician, I try my best to paint a vivid picture of what we see through the eyes and touch base on the conversations we have with our patients on a daily basis.
What a wonderful depiction of the patient/ dialysis tech relationship. Thank you for shedding light on this process that many people don’t understand.
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Thank you Katrina for your lovely and kind words. We indeed try to paint a vivid picture for our audience along the Kidney Trails