“I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the NephroCare Nurses – they’ve gone above and beyond!”

Treatment takes up a big part of life for patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Dialysis means more than a trip to the hospital for an hour a week; it completely overhauls an individual’s life as they know it. Diet, energy levels, time available to spend with loved ones, strength, routine – it creates a seismic emotional and physical shift, and one that requires care and support so that patients can live their lives to the full.

At Fresenius Medical Care, we pride ourselves on patient-centric care. At the heart of this lies the understanding that, beyond treatment, patients are individuals with their own ambitions and passions. This is where NephroCare nurses come in: experts and confidantes, on-hand to guide patients through the inevitable ups and downs of their journey. We’ve caught up with some patients who receive their dialysis at NephroCare clinics, to hear about what life on dialysis is like and how our nurses have helped them.


With you through life’s many moments


“When dialysis is thrust upon you, it’s a complete life change. Dialysis becomes a major part of your life and so, therefore, do the nurses.” Dave, 57, was diagnosed with CKD seven years ago and, for him, knowledge was key to empowerment. He told us that the nurses at his clinic have been the linchpin of his care, helping him to make informed decisions. “It’s important to me to have confidence in my nurses, and I do. If you ask them a question, you get a proper answer and advice – this is something I really value… that, and the time nurses make to speak to you – there are some marvellous conversations to be had.”


Patients with CKD often spend large parts of their lives undergoing treatment. Michelle, 40, has been receiving dialysis treatment at the same centre since she was 15. She tells us upon diagnoses, one of her nurses, Rosie, said to her: “I know it’s hard and I can’t imagine what it’s like – you can either dialyse to live or live to dialyse – it’s your choice.”


In Michelle’s case, she’s dialysing so she can live a full life, and it’s nurses like Rosie who make this happen. They have seen her through her teenage years, pregnancy, and her sons’ childhoods; threaded together by countless cups of tea and catch ups in the centre’s canteen. “We’ve been through so much together; they’ll go out of their way for you. They’ll fight for you to try and fit you in and let you have a life – they know it’s important for you. If you need something and you call for them, they’re there straight away… I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the nurses – they go above and beyond.”


Bringing care right to your home


For patients who are training to do their dialysis at home, this trust is even more important. Nurses become a part of their day-to-day, engaging with other members of the family and bearing witness to private moments.


Linda, 61, has had nurses come into her home to help her for several years. She says her nurses supported her not just through her treatment but also with aspects of her family life. They were a part of the hard times and the happy ones. In fact, one of the nurses was a witness for Linda’s vow renewal ceremony to celebrate her 25th wedding anniversary!


Many kidney patients will tell you that the toll of being on dialysis is emotional as much as it is physical, and the support that’s needed is twofold. When Linda had to return to the unit for treatment after her transplant failed, the nurses formed a support network that lifted her up during the times she felt depressed and made her feel like herself when she felt she had lost her independence. “You’re not going to have smile on your face 24/7, some days you feel a little bit down – they seem to bring it out of you, and you end up laughing and joking.”


If you are looking to work as a renal nurse and change the lives of dialysis patients for the better, you can find out about our vacancies near you by clicking here.