Recognizing the Commitment and Excellence of Nephrology Nurses
If it were not for the willingness of nephrology nurses to meet patients where they are—to educate people day in and day out about how to manage their own care, to approach complex challenges with thoughtfulness and creativity—our kidney care teams would not succeed.
Kidney care is complex, and not for everyone. People who succeed as kidney professionals share several qualities. Respect for the people they care for, an unwavering focus on excellence, a commitment to caring for the whole person, and the curiosity and intellect necessary to take on complex technologies and apply them to improve the lives of people living with kidney diseases.
Nephrology nurses make kidney care possible. They do this first for patients. They are among the best patient educators in medicine. Living with complex disease is a great technical, physical, and emotional challenge. If it were not for the willingness of nephrology nurses to meet patients where they are—to educate people day in and day out about how to manage their own care, to approach complex challenges with thoughtfulness and creativity—our kidney care teams would not succeed.
Nurses also educate other professionals. Thirty years later, I can still vividly recall the names and faces of so many nephrology nurses who supported me, taught me and inspired me to pursue nephrology during my intern year. From lifelong partnerships with their patients in the dialysis or outpatient units, to saving lives in the emergency department or intensive care units—they are the pillar of our profession. During the pandemic this past year, they put their lives at risk to save others.
We get used to the sustained excellence that these women and men bring to their profession. I encourage you, whether this week or any other week in the year, to stop and consider how much our individual and collective success depends on these nurses. And to let them know.
As a kidney professional, I benefit and learn daily from my interactions with nephrology nurses. As president of the American Society of Nephrology, I am honored to convey the collective gratitude and respect of the kidney community to those who have what it takes to excel in one of the most complex and challenging areas of medicine.
Thank you for all you do for our patients each day, especially by advancing kidney care, research, and education.