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Joe, Dialysis RN

"Being a part of someone’s day, and not just a part of their treatment"

FMCNA employees, RNs and beyond, come from a variety of professional backgrounds, but they all have one thing in common: they’ve all found success and personal fulfillment working in the dialysis field. That fulfillment is the inspiration for the “Why Dialysis?” series—we’re asking FMCNA employees across the country to tell us how working in dialysis has had a positive impact on their professional development and personal growth.

Joe has been a Dialysis RN in the South Summit, OH clinic since September 2013. We sat down with Joe to discuss his transition into the dialysis field and the personal and professional growth he has experienced as a Fresenius employee.

Have you worked in the dialysis field before joining Fresenius?

No, this is all new to me. Before Fresenius, I worked in a nursing home. I got hired on as an RN before I passed my boards, and 2 months later started work at Fresenius.

What do you like about working at a dialysis clinic, compared to your previous work experience?

Working in a dialysis clinic is a lot different than anything I’ve ever done before, which I think is why I like it so much.  The work I did at the nursing home didn’t have the fulfillment I was looking for. At Fresenius, we are prolonging life, which is what I like about it. You get to know your patients a lot better because you have more one-on-one time with them.

" really get to know your patients on a personal level."

For a new RN, what is attractive about working in a dialysis clinic?

For starters, a great job with great benefits. And, the relationships you build with your patients is special, as opposed to, say, having 60 patients at a time on a hospital floor; you really get to know your patients on a personal level. It’s much different than anything you do in nursing school, which is cool.

What is necessary to keep the clinic running smoothly?

Creating a good schedule and staying on track is the best thing to keep things running smoothly. Getting everyone, RNs and techs, on the same routine is the best way to do it.

What kind of skills have you learned at Fresenius that you might not have been taught in nursing school?

Patient acuity, definitely. For the first couple weeks, I was shocked by some of the patients’ numbers. Also good time management. You have to learn to adapt; in nursing school, you’re really only responsible for 3-4 patients, but when you’re on your own you have a lot more responsibility. Knowledge of the field is also important; you really need to study up to know what’s going on and how to react in certain situations.

What kind of challenges have you come across in your first year in the clinic, and what did you need to do to overcome them?

One of the biggest things for me was getting to know the patients and their actual capabilities—what they can do, what they can’t do, and what’s normal for them—because every patient is completely different. Overall, just adapting to the fact that there is no nursing instructor to turn to, you have to know what to do and when.

What do you find most rewarding about your job?

Honestly, the one-on-one time with the patients. Being a part of someone’s day, and not just a part of their treatment is very rewarding.

"Being a part of someone’s day, and not just a part of their treatment is very rewarding."

What do you like most about your clinic?

I like that everyone here works as a team, as opposed to other places I’ve worked, where people do their own thing. If that were to happen here, things would fall apart fast, so everyone makes a really good effort to work as a unit. I really like that about this clinic in particular.

What do you think about career advancement opportunities at Fresenius?

I really like my job right now, but I know there are advancements available. It definitely helps to get a bachelor’s degree to move up in the CAP program. As a new nurse, I’m really happy where I am, but it’s good to know that those opportunities are out there if I choose.

For more information about open positions in FMCNA clinics in the Cleveland area, click here.