Preparing For Your First Day Of Dialysis

Pure Life RenalKidney Disease

If you are getting ready to start dialysis, here are a few recommendations to help you prepare for your first day of treatment:

  1. Dress comfortably!  You will spend a few hours sitting in a reclining chair during your treatment. If you have a “port”- a catheter in your neck or chest area, wear a button down shirt or blouse for easy access. If you have a “shunt”- an AV fistula or graft in your arm, wear a loose fitting shirt or blouse so the sleeves can be rolled up easy.
  2. Bring a small pillow and a blanket to help you stay warm and increase your comfort during your treatment.
  3. Although most dialysis facilities provide individual television and cable programming at each patient station, feel free to bring a book, tablet or computer.  Headsets or earbuds are also highly recommended so that you can enjoy your programming with minimal distraction.
  4. Have your insurance cards and ID with you.
  5. On your first day of treatment, you may have to review and sign several documents.  If English is not your primary language, call ahead to see if there is a staff member at the facility who can help translate and answer any questions that you may have.  If there is not someone available to assist with translation, plan on bringing someone along to help you complete the forms.
  6. If you are a diabetic and need to eat throughout the day, bring a small snack to enjoy while you are at the facility.

Starting dialysis means making some changes to adjust to your new normal. The good news is that you are not alone and will have a team to support you every step of the way.

Written by Melinda Rusznak, FA