It has been found that around 71% of dialysis patients are unemployed.1 Since dialysis treatment is essential for a patient’s health, it is crucial for them to receive the treatment on a regular basis as instructed by their health team. For most patients, it’s a life-changing event when once they are diagnosed with chronic kidney disease and some can deal with it better than others. The patient sometimes feels like their life is falling apart and they cannot live their life like before. One critical concern is whether these patients can keep their jobs and have a career like before. Since having a job makes a person feel like they are accomplishing something good in life and financially contributing to society and their personal life. But with the development of home hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis, dialysis patients can still do a lot of things even though they are receiving constant dialysis treatment, for example working and having a successful career. Although this might come with some adjustments.

Controlling your Abilities as a Diabetic

It is important for patients to discuss with their doctor what restrictions and abilities they have when working while receiving dialysis treatment. Even though dialysis patients are able to receive treatment and work as well, there are of course a few restrictions and changes to deal with, for example, not lifting up heavy objects or putting too much strain on their body. A physical job will be difficult for dialysis patients since they tend to be weaker than before and often feel tired. During the first few weeks of dialysis treatment, the patient might not be able to work and should stay at home instead to get enough rest. 2 Due to this type of working condition, is it essential for the patient to discuss the situation with their employer beforehand in order to avoid disappointment in the workplace. If this is a problem then another job with possible home office opportunities might be more suitable.

Adapting Work to Dialysis Treatment

Since hemodialysis patients need vascular access in their upper arm or upper leg, they should be very careful not to harm these areas of their body when working. Patients receiving peritoneal dialysis have an abdominal catheter which also should be taken into account when working. For this reason, it is advisable that patients do not do jobs that enquire them to do a lot of physical work or lifting too heavy objects. A scheduled plan should also be created in order to fix times for work and times for dialysis treatment. This way it is clear for both the employer and the medical team when the patient will be at work and when he or she will be getting their dialysis treatment.

Dialysis Methods for Working Patients

Depending on where the patient works and what hours they work, can have a big impact on what type of dialysis treatment they receive. There are a few methods that could make it easier to work on the side. Home hemodialysis is a flexible dialysis treatment method that can be done at home at any time of the day depending on the patients working hours. For those patents that work during the day, the peritoneal dialysis method might be a good option since this treatment is often done overnight while they sleep. This means that during the day the patient will have free time to go to work as usual. Another option for patients who work during the day is nocturnal in-centre hemodialysis. With this treatment, they can receive treatment overnight at the dialysis treatment. In-centre hemodialysis can be an option for patients with more flexible working hours which enables them to work as well as go to the dialysis centre for treatment.3

 

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