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Nephrology Nurse Goes the Extra Mile for Patients on Peritoneal Dialysis


Content courtesy of DaVita. "I would walk a mile for my patients, if that's what they needed me to do, and think nothing of it," said Cheroyl Reado, RN, recounting her dedication to the hundreds of patients she's served in her 30-year tenure as a nephrology nurse. Nephrology nurses support patients managing kidney failure, which often requires patients to receive dialysis for multiple hours a week to replace the function of the organ. [caption id="attachment_103064" align="alignleft" width="450"] Nephrology nurse Cheroyl Reado, RN, with Jose, a former patient. Watch their touching video here.[/caption] The majority of the United States' 500,000 dialysis patients receive their care in a dialysis center. But different treatment options are growing in popularity. One in particular, known as peritoneal dialysis (PD), allows patients to receive care in their homes. Nephrology nurses like Reado can be trained to oversee this type of dialysis care and serve as a trusted partner to their patients seeking to live a more independent lifestyle.

Reado Connects With Peritoneal Dialysis Patients

As a peritoneal dialysis nurse, Reado's role is to serve as a case manager throughout her patients' health journey. Reado meets with patients during monthly checkups and communicates information about their health to their nephrologist. Choosing the right treatment modality at the right time is a decision that is always made between patients and their nephrologist. For many eligible patients, peritoneal dialysis can be a treatment option that allows them to live more fully. Peritoneal dialysis treatments more closely mimic the natural function of the kidneys and are associated with better patient outcomes like better blood pressure control and quicker recovery times between treatments. Patients who choose peritoneal dialysis are often able to maintain work, school, and social schedules because it affords more flexibility than in-center dialysis treatments both in when they treat and how often they need to come into a dialysis center. Despite these benefits, choosing PD can feel overwhelming to some patients because they're required to take a more active role in their own care. PD nurses play a crucial role in helping patients feel confident and connected to their care teams while treating in their homes. When new patients considering PD find themselves in Reado's home dialysis training room, she talks them through the benefits of the treatment and what they can expect day to day. Reado's expertise helps patients feel supported and confident as they transition to a new treatment.

"When I meet a patient for the first time, I take them by the hand and show them the machine and how everything works, and then we go over their personal health goals," said Reado. "I let them know what I expect, and they're responsive to that."

Developing a personal connection with patients is inherent to Reado's role as a nephrology nurse because she is often playing as quarterback on their care team -- anticipating potential challenges and helping her team tackle them in coordination with the patient, physician, and care partners before a potentially adverse event. "I tell my patients, 'Never let dialysis rule you. You rule it,'" said Reado. Reado also strives to ensure that her patients feel she's accessible and able to support them even when they're not face to face. Despite different care settings, touchpoints with Reado feel seamless and supportive for patients throughout their care journey.

Nurses Aid Patients in Bringing Care Home

Over three decades, Reado has helped dozens of patients take their care into their own hands and homes. Whether elderly or as young as their early twenties, she has encountered patients who are scared, reserved, and unsure of what a life on dialysis will hold for them. Each hand she's held has left a lasting impact on Reado as a nurse. She has found a tremendous sense of purpose by empowering patients to take control of their health, and she celebrates them long after they are no longer in her care. Her patients celebrate her as well, with one recently sharing his gratitude for her nurturing his own dream to become a nurse after the impact she had on his life.

"Nursing is about going the extra mile," says Reado. "It's about more than just collecting a paycheck. My patients trust me with their health, and that's a powerful connection."

A strong care team can have the greatest impact on a patient's care experience. Peritoneal dialysis nurses restore a patient's independence while supporting them with a new treatment plan. And the results are in: Patients who undergo peritoneal dialysis have been shown to experience a higher quality of life, fewer hospitalizations, and better transplant outcomes. "It speaks for itself," said Reado of home dialysis. "I've seen many patients change their lives on PD. It keeps them out of the hospital and infection free. When you see them thrive and do the things they want to do, that's a good feeling." Editor's note: This article is for informational purpose only and does not constitute medical advice. If you're interested in a career in nephrology nursing, get started today at