Your Peritoneal Dialysis Support Team
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice or diagnosis from a physician.
When you do peritoneal dialysis (PD), you’re never alone. You have an entire medical team focused on your care. These health care professionals will educate and train you, change your dialysis treatment when necessary, monitor your health to make sure you’re achieving your best possible results and help support you every step of the way. Your PD team will be made up of:
Your kidney doctor (nephrologist) is the physician specializing in your kidney care. He or she will help you decide when to begin dialysis. Your nephrologist will also prescribe your dialysis treatment and monitor your ongoing care. You’ll have a monthly appointment with your nephrologist to assess your medical condition and determine if any changes need to be made to your current dialysis treatment plan.
Your PD nurse
When you decide to do PD, a PD nurse will help educate you about your health condition, meet with you during your monthly checkups in the center and communicate information about your health to your nephrologist. They will also be the one who personally trains you on PD, which typically takes one to two weeks.
Your nephrologist and nurse are typically the first point of contact for most questions or problems that may arise. In most home programs, a nurse will be available to you by phone 24 hours a day. Most PD programs offer Home Remote Monitoring (HRM), allowing your nurse to monitor you more closely during your first few months on PD.
Your diet plays a big role in helping you live a healthy life with end stage renal disease (ESRD). Your dietitian will serve as your dialysis diet consultant. They will review your lab reports monthly and provide support, education and diet tips tailored to your specific needs.
Your social worker
Your social worker will help with the emotional side of adjusting to your journey with kidney disease. They will perform a professional assessment of your psychosocial condition and will provide emotional support and resources to you and your family. Your social worker will also be able to put you in touch with some support groups to help you in your transition.
Your insurance counselor
Your insurance counselor can help answer any of your insurance concerns and may help you find resources that can help you afford your treatment and medications. For assistance from a DaVita insurance counselor, fill out this form.
Your care partner
You may feel more comfortable doing your PD treatments with someone there to assist you, although it is not required. Your care partner can be your spouse, a family member, a friend or a hired caregiver. This important person will be an active contributor to your care every day and can help provide physical, as well as emotional support.
Your support system
Your support system can be your family, friends, coworkers and anyone else that may play a role in your life. These people can cheer you up, keep you active, assist you with anything you need, talk about your condition and help you maintain your quality of life. The best way to assemble a support system is to confide in people you trust.
Find a DaVita home dialysis program
Are you interested in finding a peritoneal dialysis (PD) or home hemodialysis (HHD) program near you? Call DaVita Guest Services at 1-800-244-0582 or find a center with a home dialysis program nearest you.
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