Hemodialysis: Basics to Know


What is dialysis?

When one’s kidneys no longer work properly, patients often resort to the use of dialysis to take over those functions. There are two types of dialysis: hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. This will focus on the first one.

What is hemodialysis?

The process involves the use of a dialysis machine and a special filter-also called the artificial kidney or dialyzer-to clean the patient’s blood. The doctor will need to create an entry point into the patient’s blood vessels through minor surgery to get the blood into the dialyzer. The entry point is usually create on the arm.

Why is it used?

Hemodialysis is used to treat acute and chronic kidney failure, MedicineNet says. The principles of hemodialysis is the same as any other method of dialysis: solutes are diffused when they pass through a semipermeable membrane.

How many types are there?

There are different types of hemodialysis. There’s in-center hemodialysis that requires patients to go to a hospital or dialysis center for 3 days a week, with the procedure lasting anywhere from 3 to 5 hours. Then there is the home hemodialysis which requires training in the proper use of the equipment. Once the patient has received proper training, the patient can do his/her own dialysis treatments in the comfort of your home. There is also the daily home dialysis which requires patients to do 5 to 7 days of dialysis treatments at home, with sessions lasting to about 3 hours and then, the nocturnal home dialysis which requires patients to do 3 to 7 nights a week of treatments that last anywhere from 6 to 8 hours.

What to expect?

Patients will need to get blood tests to check if they are getting the right amount of dialysis or not. The tests will also show if the treatments are working or not.

What to know?

The procedure extends the life of a patient but provides only 10 percent of normal kidney function. It doesn’t do anything to reverse the condition.

How to work as a dialysis nurse?

If you want a career as a dialysis nurse, proper training is necessary. From knowing the basics of the dialysis treatments to a through familiarity with the principles of hemodialysis, nurses must have the necessary knowledge and experience to provide the help and assistance your patients will need.

Want to know more how you can start on this career path? Contact us at Dialysis 4 Career today.