Saturday, October 16, 2010


I am happy to report that today's dialysis session went very well!

The dialysis nurse had a lot of patients today so she handed me the task of going over the dialysis procedure with my aunt. I decided to try a different approach than the nurse. I noticed the nurse's method wasn't working because my aunt just zones out while the nurse was explaining things, sits back and lets the nurse do everything. I thought keeping her engaged would work so I walked her through each and every step verbally with her, demonstrated how to do it, and handed it to her so she could do it herself.

After each step was completed, I would ask her, "So what do you do next?" When she answered correctly we would proceed to do the next step. When she answered incorrectly, I would tell her the correct step and explain to her why and what happens. I would also make her do the step over and over again until it was planted in her head. She responded very well to this method! When the nurse came back she was surprised! She can clamp and unnclamp the tubes, connect her catheter to the solution, and open her catheter tube to drain and fill! The only thing she can't do is break the frangibles so we're still trying to figure out what's the easiest method for her.

The nurse also taught me how to administer an Epogen injection. It wasn't that hard. My aunt will need an Epo shot every week. Epo is used to treat anemia in kidney patients, because when the kidneys fail, it stops producing a hormone that produces red blood cells. The nurse is hoping my aunt can give the shots to herself, but I don't know, my aunt has a low pain threshold. Any tiny thing she feels, she overreacts.

By the end of this month, the training sessions should be over and
will begin the home dialysis in November.

My aunt surpised us today! I figured out the only way to get her to do things is to be stern with her and not coddle her!

Today was actually fun! It was a nice feeling that I actually played a big role on helping her move forward. I guess this is how a lot of medical professionals feel when they see their patients progress. As the weeks go on doing these trainings and assisting my aunt, I am becoming more confident my decision to transition into the healthcare field was the right choice.

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