Started PD Training.....finally

Some of you may remember I posted almost 2 months ago that my husband was going to start PD training and that the PD nurse had informed me that I would not be allowed to attend the training with him. Well he contacted a c-diff infection while in the hospital and did not get to start his training until today. He was nervous about starting and afraid he would not be able to remember everything so I was really determined to attend with him. I WAS NOT ALLOWED!!! She told me that she did not need me and I explained to her that I only wanted to know how in case he had a problem and she stated to me “If he is too sick to do the PD himself then he needs to be in the hospital”. She said she had been doing this for 20 years and that has always been her policy. So she is apparently stuck in the 80’s way of doing things. She indicated that when he could demonstrate to her that he could do it himself then I could come in the room and have him show me. This was very upsetting to me. We have been married for 43 years and to be excluded by a stranger is just plain wrong. I just needed to vent alittle and get some feed back. Is this normal practice?


Hi Mommaw,

I’m sorry for your frustration. I don’t believe that there is necessarily any “standard” practice when it comes to PD training. You’ve unfortunately run into someone who is very set on only doing things one way. Is your husband’s dialysis center owned by a corporation? If so, going to someone higher up in the company may be a way to get her “policy” changed. I believe it’s best if you can learn with your husband–learning it second-hand from him may create errors (like playing telephone).

From what I’ve seen of how PD trainers are taught, there is no valid reason why you couldn’t be there with him–and lots of reasons why it would be a good idea if you were. Even if your husband was in the hospital, plenty of folks here have pointed out that hospital nurses are not trained to do PD. Horrible errors have occurred where nurses have used PD catheters as feeding tubes, made mistakes that caused infections, etc. If your husband is in the hospital, he needs to have an advocate there to keep an eye out for him–and you can be that for him.

He’s lucky to have you on his side!

hello there,

I know how your husband feels, I am starting my traing next week, and the unit nurse there encourages someone to come to training with me, So my mom will be coming(as she does with all my apoinments) and learn as I learn. :smiley:

I agree you SHOULD NOT SETTLE for what this nurse is telling you, go above her head, Speak to anyone who will listen, find another center (if possiable)

Your only concern here is for your husbands well being, and I think its great that you will and have stood by his side through this proccese, its a scary thing to go through alone, I’m only 34, but have a lot of support from my parents, family and friend.

Good Luck to you both


Thanks Doris and Alex for the replies. A good example of why someone should train with you: This evening my husband had to do his first exchange at home by himself and was of course nervous. He had a problem hooking up the bag to the stay-safe switch he was given to use and ask me for some help. Of course since I had never seen any of this done, I was not much help. He finally got it set up and started the empty process. He said it was supposed to take about 10 minutes, after almost 15 he ask me if it was still draining. Not knowing what to look for and not being able to see the solution in the tube, it was clear, I did not know if it was draining or not. He waited another 5 minutes and decided it was done, switched to flush, couldn’t see if the soultion was running, forgot to turn off flush and ran about 1/4 fo the bag out before I noticed it and told him to turn to fill. The best I can tell from this first experience is that even if you sometimes make a mistake, it is not life threatning as long as you keep every thing clean and your hands sterile to avoid infections. I will be allowed to go with him tomorrow and I have a lot of questions for the PD Nurse and intend to make a point of telling her about tonight and why it would have been much better had I been in the loop since the begining!!!

Will keep you posted.


It sounds like your husband is feeling somewhat insecure about the PD process and may need more repetition to build his confidence. He needs to know what he’s doing and feel confident doing it so he is taking control of his illness.

Here are some suggestions:
– The clinic should have given him a training manual and possibly a poster. Encourage him to refer to it to be sure that he’s doing all the steps correctly at least until he has everything memorized.
– When you go to the clinic, just watch. If your husband is going to do an exchange there, let him do it alone so the nurse knows that he can do it.
– Be very careful how you tell the nurse what happened tonight. His self-confidence may be fragile and you don’t want to make him feel even more insecure to get the nurse to teach you what you need to know.