Your Care Team
A multidisciplinary team of specialists are available to help you manage your kidney disease. You will see your physician and renal care team monthly.
Meet Your Care Team for In-Center Dialysis
To help you manage your kidney disease while on dialysis, a multidisciplinary team of specialists is available:
These physicians specialize in kidney disease. You will see a doctor weekly if you choose in-center dialysis.
As a leading academic medical center, Washington University attracts physicians seeking to enhance their medical training in kidney disease. These doctors have already graduated from medical school and have accomplished 3-7 years of residency in internal medicine at a registered hospital. Now they are getting advanced training in renal disease. They are part of the kidney team and work under the direction of an attending nephrologist.
Nurse practitioners are registered nurses who have completed advanced training, either at the master’s degree or doctorate degree level and hold additional national certification in an area of specialty. They collaborate with physicians in the care of patients, making rounds and seeing patients in the in-center dialysis unit.
Our nurses are specially trained in the care of kidney disease patients. Nurses include registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs). Every dialysis patient at Washington University/Barnes-Jewish Hospital is assigned a primary nurse who helps coordinate your care.
These specially trained and certified technicians work in in-center dialysis units and handle many aspects of direct patient care, including the set up of your dialysis machine, checking blood pressures, and monitoring your care.
Because we understand there are emotional and social stresses of dialysis, we have dedicated social workers to help patients on dialysis and their families. This can include counseling as you adjust to living with chronic kidney disease. You will learn effective coping strategies and how to find appropriate resources regarding vocational or financial issues. In addition, they can discuss your transportation needs, if any, and provide much-needed guidance when you wish to travel out of town on business or vacation.
Every patient who begins dialysis will be assigned to a registered dietitian. It is critical for you to follow the dietary guidelines that are set to keep you healthy. Dietitians will review your monthly blood tests and determine if changes in your diet are needed. They even offer tips on food preparation and provide recipes and grocery lists.
Our business staff is highly experienced in assisting with insurance issues related to the cost of your dialysis. They are available to explain what’s on your bill and help you understand what your insurance covers and how much your co-pay will be if any. The business staff also submits your Medicare and insurance claims on your behalf.
At any time, feel free to discuss your concerns or ask questions of any renal team member. As you move through your dialysis treatments, the entire renal care team meets together to discuss every patient’s progress. If you choose, you have the opportunity to participate in those group meetings either by phone or in person. Notify your patient care coordinator if you are interested.