Sunday, June 16, 2013

A Week in Renal

This week I visited two dialysis centers, one in Oxon Hill, MD and the other in Seat Pleasant, MD. It was an amazing experience and great to see the passion each dietitian put into their work. For patients on dialysis, the process is apart of their daily routine. They must set aside 3 - 5 hours, multiple times per week, where they sit hooked up to a dialysis machine. In order to make the experience more bearable, the dietitians (along with center staff) must get creative.

At the center in Oxon Hill, they award “Phos dollars,” to patients with good phosphorus labs. These dollars are then exchanged for prizes like picture frames, kitchen supplies, and puzzle books. It’s a great incentive for the patients and they really seem to enjoy it. The center in Seat Pleasant holds lab coat decorating contests where the patients are the judges. Most recently, they have musical performances by the staff and play music on special occasions like Valentines Day or Christmas.

Lastly, both facilities have monthly “lobby days,” where the patients can taste test renal-friendly alternatives like almond milk and protein bars.

Overall, I learned that keeping an uplifting and inventive approach to patient care is essential in the outpatient dialysis setting.

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