Kidney Dialysis
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question about patient care at dialysis

Can someone tell me exactly what is in the job description of a Tech or Charge Nurse at a dialysis unit. I'm hearing very desturbing stories of poor care to some of the patients at the unit I go to. There is one person who is terminally ill and all her organs are shutting down. While on dialysis she had an accident and soiled herself. The dialysis unit called the family member to come & clean her but she was picking up her grand kids first. One one, not a nurse or tech would take her to the bathroom and clean her up. She sat in her feeces for over 45 minutes and got an infection on her bottom. I fine that disrespectful, unhealthy and WRONG. Besides helping the patients through their life saving dialysis don't they have an obligation to keep patients safe and clean so no infections occure. We are people in need of medical help and would hope we would be taken care of the best they can.

Thank you for suggestions to who can be contacted on these health issues.

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That is horrible. I think you could contact adult protective services in your community. If they can't handle the problem, they should be able to point you to someone who can.

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Firstly, if you are in the U.S. you should first talk to the Charge Nurse. This should *never* happen, not ever. Talk with the charge nurse. If you don't feel its been addressed appropriately, then talk with the Facility Administrator. Simultaneously contact your state dept of aging and health *and* your ESRD Network and file a formal complaint. You will find these steps redundant and will require you to tell the story (and names, dates etc) repeatedly in order to file a complaint. Please don't give up though, its people like you who give a voice to those who cannot stand up for themselves. It could have just as easily been you. Let her voice be heard through you. You should be able to find which one is for your area by going to esrdnetworks.org. What occurred violated the patients rights and should *never* be allowed or tolerated. They may try to intimidate, retaliate (which is also NOT allowed) or more (or they may be completely understanding) so be prepared. If you want to talk more, send me a pm here on healthunlocked. Many Blessings

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Thank you for your response. The charge nurse & admin director are the ones who say it's not their job. I person all hate it there. I've complained about other things & nothing gets done. BUT when it comes to something they want from you you have to give it. And the star rating for this unit is WRONG. I have numbers & places I can call but the patients mother in law who takes care of her doesn't want to cause trouble but I feel it is total neglect. It hurts me inside because we are still people and she may only have a short time left with her kids & family but she still should be treated with respect. Sorry but DaVita is not a good dialysis company. And I don't want to make the mother in law mad if something gets said back to her. Thank you and if I need more help I will see if you have suggestions.

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Okay, firstly they (charge nurse and facility administrator) are misdirecting and misinforming you (i.e., lying). I've personally experienced this from a DaVita unit myself. The next thing you must do is is contact the state survey agency and then the ESRD network for your area. You don't have to tell the woman's name just file a complaint that this is what you witnessed and it is violation of patients' rights and responsibilities of being treated with respect and you'd like to see this change. Also be very clear that you're speaking out for those who are afraid to speak up or who can't have a voice in their care. Be sure also to mention that the charge nurse and facility administrator claimed "it wasn't their job". Make sure to communicate that you're afraid of the staff, afraid of retaliation (passive/aggressive). Then you must contact the state survey agency as well as adult protective services or state department of aging services, they are very aggressive in protecting the rights of the aged. If you do not want to get involved then send me the information and I am happy to do so in behalf of patients at that clinic. Blessings (if you or I won't speak up for the voiceless, who will?)

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That is absolutely neglect and should be reported to adult protective services (call your local

Area Agency on Aging to get the number or your state dept. of elder services). Also follow the policies of your dialysis center for registering complaints and keep at it until you get satisfactory answers. No dialysis staff should ever refuse to clean up a patient - that is a basic human need!

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Facility Admin or Corporate,v should be able to help u with those issues. I'm sorry that is going on at ur facility. I hope and pray things get better...I do believe though that they are only doing the care as it results to dialysis. But anybody with heart for people should have been more compassionate. Remember some people are in certain positions for the money, I hate to say that but it's true. But I hope u find help. U could also possibly call health and Senior services and put in for a neglect complaint.

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ALL of the responses are %100 percent correct !! And on another note, and I'm trying SO HARD not to curse, but them not cleaning that patient up is complete and total Bullsh** !!! They are a MEDICAL facility. The health and well being of EACH patient on their premises is THEIR responsibility from the time the patient gets there until the time they leave !! That means ITS TOTALLY THEIR JOB !! And on another note, letting someone sit in their own feces for ONE minute let alone 45 is not only disgusting, but its absolutely NOT SANITARY !! They have an obligation BY LAW to comply with with health regulation to provide and maintain a SANITARY environment !! They have Medical Assistants and Nurses on staff FOR THAT VERY REASON !! If someone soils themselves, they are there to make sure bacteria doesn't spread !! That lady has the right to sue them because her infection was totally and completely due to their lack of patient care AND compliance with sanitation law !! This is the VERY reason my husband went to Fresenius after our hospital's dialysis department was switched to Davita. Davita could care less about ANYONE. All they want to do is dialyze and make money. Total neglect for the patients. Ugh. I'm sorry I just got really mad. And I agree with the other lady's comment, because it could have just as well been YOU who was morally degraded like that. My advice to you is to report this to all the entities suggested to you in previous comments, AND find another facility !! And please encourage that poor lady or her family to sue that facility, and NAME the Facility Admin and the Charge Nurse in the complaint. I would even report it to the local newspaper or news station. Shame on that Facility Admin and Charge nurse. Do you know how many MILLIONS of dollars Davita has paid in out of court settlements ? The last time I checked, its was well over 300 million IN THE LAST 6 YEARS !! I feel so bad for that poor lady and her family.

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The unit that I go to the head nurse comes around and ask how you are feeling, check your blood pressure, checks your lungs to make sure you have no fluid in your lungs, checks your feet and legs to make sure they are not swollen, talks to you about how much fluid they are removing. And, they are in charge of all the patients and techs.. Also they talk to your family member and lets them know when there is a problem. The techs are the ones who hook you up to the machine, ask about your weight that you came in at and also checks your weight before you leave the center.. And, they also set up and cleans the machine with bleach to kill all the germs so no one will get sick from another patient.. Now, for those who would not help that poor lady out are sick pigs... Or even better lazy slugs.... I can't believe they did what they did. They are nurses and most general taking care of patients is why they became a nurse in the first place.....

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Hi ddwebangel,

I am sorry that I am responding 7 months after your post. I hope that these problems have been addressed by the time you read this. All of the previous comments contain good advice.

But if there are still problems, one resource you might find helpful is the Dialysis Patient Grievance Toolkit published by the National Forum of ESRD Networks. The toolkit explains the procedures you can follow to lodge a formal complaint and provides contact information for each of the ESRD Networks in the United States.

You can find the toolkit online at esrdnetworks.org/resources/...

You are indeed a Web Angel for looking out for your fellow patients.

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Hi. I am very new to this site & just saw your post. I was wondering what ever happened? Did you file complaints & if so what happened? I hope the facility @ the very least got a fine or something. And the patient? Is she still living? I hope the family changed their minds & filed complaints themselves too! Please, if you can, will you give us an update? Thank you & I hope you're doing well also! Take care :)

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I forgot to say that at our local center, they're wonderful! We have "tech's" who do the actual dialysis as well as setting up, taking down, cleaning. They get water/ice for the patients as needed. But they are not nurses; some of them are working on their nursing degrees but the majority are not even CNA's. BUT if something like that happened at our center they would have immediately grabbed the screens & helped that woman out! We do of course have RN's as charge nurses each shift who comes around and checks up on all the patients; and a Facility Admin (who is also an RN). I have heard stories of Davita & dont think I would EVER take my son to one of their facilities. Ours is Northwest Kidney Centers, they have about 90 I think, & in my opinion the Kirkland facility is the absolute best center anywhere lol! :)

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