I don’t work, but this depends very much on the individual. Not in terms of willpower or willingness to work but rather in ability to keep up a regular full-time work schedule at the same time as having to dialyze. I’m at home, but I probably put in as much work (unpaid, volunteer type work. plus other daily activities) in a day as most people who work in an office. But if I don’t feel good on any particular day, I can just take it easy. In today’s working world, there are extremely high demands on the average worker, and for many, this might not be compatible with the uncertainties and unpredictability of being on dialysis. Not everyone has the same health on dialysis, and even for those who have good health, things happen.
Now, in terms of time, yes, it’s doable. Let’s say you work normal daytime hours. You come home, have supper, relax a bit. Also let’s assume you use a conventional dialysis machine, which probably takes an hour or so more. So, you start getting your stuff ready at 7, and you’re totally done at 11. Other than the 2 hours on dialysis, you have some time during setup to answer email, etc., while some things are done by the machine unattended (as long as you’re within earshot if an alarm goes off). If you use a NxStage or Aksys, you can probably shave an hour off prep time. I don’t count post-treatment time, because no matter what machine you use, you’re going to need a half hour before you’re totally free of the needles (holding time, and on home hemo, you can only hold one site at a time, not both like at the dialysis centre). After that, it’s really only a matter of the machine doing its thing for an hour or so. You only have to be around to turn the R/O off once the disinfection is done - but you can be doing other things unrelated to dialysis in the meantime.
But keep in mind that you have to do this almost every single night except one or maybe two nights to reap the health and dietary benefits of short daily hemo.
For daily nocturnal hemo, you get more bang for your buck in terms of prep time vs treatment time - a lot more. But, the price you pay is that you might not always sleep as well or as comfortably. Is it compatible with regular work? Maybe, if your employer is really flexible. With nocturnal, generally-speaking, you can be on tx from 6 to 8 hours. However, practically-speaking, you have to balance things in terms of how late you want to get on (before you get too sleepy to do it), and how early you want to get off. Most people would probably not want to take themselves off at 4 am every morning. But with nocturnal, you do have every day free of dialysis. There is going to be the occasional night when something goes wrong and you lose some sleep time.
Now, that’s not counting monthly clinic appointments, appointments for fistulagrams, dialyzing in-centre for fistula measurment, etc., being home or otherwise arranging to receive supply deliveries, being home when technicians have to call for unscheduled problems or for regular maintenance, etc.
I always seem to be playing devil’s advocate on this forum, but having done in-centre hemo, short daily and daily nocturnal, all for significant lengths of time, I almost think that doing in-centre hemo 3 times per week in the evenings is the method which is most compatible with full-time work in terms of time alone - although it can’t compare to daily hemo in other ways. Most people feel better and have more energy on daily hemo than conventional hemo in centre.