Dear dialysis patients

Dear dialysis patients,

This may sound insensitive – the only time you should miss your scheduled dialysis is when you’re dead.

I’m quite tired of hearing that you didn’t go to dialysis because you “didn’t feel good” or “didn’t feel like going.” Well, I’m no expert, but I can guarantee that you aren’t going to feel ANY better after skipping dialysis.

While your non-compliance with your appointments has a tendency to give us some¬†cool-ass EKGs that some idiot crews will debate for days whether it’s SVT with aberrancy or VT if they’re not silently staring at the long pauses with their mouths open, I wouldn’t be professional and responsible if I didn’t tell you to just go get your blood cleaned like everyone’s already explained to you a thousand times.

Sincerely,

Medic

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6 thoughts on “Dear dialysis patients”

  1. Maybe we could increase compliance by allowing patients to smoke during their sessions. I’m fairly certain that if we exclude patient went into renal failure when they were < 40yo, the morbidity, mortality, and healthcare resources saved by getting more of these folks to attend their tri-weekly blood scrubbing would offset the long-term harm caused by their smoking. In addition to removing a deterrent from their attending, associating a nice nicotine-fix with dialysis could subconsciously make some of these folks want to show up.

    Also, to the best of my knowledge there's no reason that a dialysis unit can't also function as an OTB…

  2. I’m fortunate in that during my career I never did dialysis transports. The only calls we did to dialysis centers where when something went wrong. The term train wreck comes to mind.

    Vince, instead of OTB machines, the dialysis machines should be set up to sell lottery tickets.

  3. Maybe you need to sit in a dialysis chair for a mind numbing 3 hours. You feel like shit when get put on and you feel like shit when you get off. But you, You can still travel when you want, when you’re thirsty you can drink whatever you want, eat whatever you want. You don’t have to deal with the chronic fatigue, or being treated like a piece of meat. You have the FREEDOM dialysis patients don’t have. If you don’t like your job, then get another one. You are not doing any of your patients any favors by sticking around. So fuck off you asshole!

    1. i love my work. what i DON’T love is seeing people like you suffer because of a perfectly avoidable situation, like missing dialysis for some really silly reason and then getting even sicker than necessary. and believe me when i tell you, dialysis patients are very good at getting really sick really fast. no matter why they go to the ED, they are practically ALWAYS considered more than “non-urgent.”

      take all the emotion out of it, and the only thing left is the simple fact that dialysis can’t be skipped. which is the point of the post.

      if nothing else, you can tell your friends at the dialysis center about this fucking asshole medic who still has his “freedom” who posted something incredibly insensitive about missing dialysis, and they can all be as angry with me as they please, as long as they remember to go to all their dialysis appointments. i’ll happily be the bad guy if that means just one more person doesn’t willy-nilly decide to not go to dialysis because s/he “didn’t feel like it.”

      1. Well I’ve never missed an dialysis session. I am usually early and ready to go. If the only complaint you have is patients not showing up you must be very blessed indeed.
        The techs at my center work long 12 hr shifts, for low pay, with crappy administrators. Most work a second job to make ends meet. I love my techs, my nurses, my wife, my doc, my entire support team.
        I understand your frustration. I do. I really really do. But doing dialysis is HARD. Both physically and mentally. And yes, there are times I just don’t want to go, but I do it anyway. For my loved ones, because I am lucky enough to have people who care about me. But other patients who don’t have anyone, or have dementia. What do they have? Why not ask the real question as to why they don’t want to come in? How can you motivate and encourage them to come in?
        I was pretty harsh in my initial response, maybe too harsh. I think we can agree it sucks being on either side of a dialysis chair, be it a patient or a provider.

        1. well, however hard it is to sit in that chair 3 times or more a week, no one can dispute that the consequences of non-compliance are far, far worse.

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