Training of home nurses

Do you know how your home program nurses were trained to become certified to be home hemo tx trainers? Anotherwards, did someone from the machine company come in and train them to be a home trainer or did they go to a unit to train under an established home training team etc?

Hopefully, someone will answer my original question in this thread. But in the meantime, I have another question. Do you feel that a nurse who has very little experience in hemo can be trained by a machine company and become a good trainer for a home program? Or do you feel that in order to become a home trainer, the nurse should have more extensiive experience in hemo?

The nurse that trained us had been in dialysis for many years. The machines are pretty much the same. Our nurse set up the nocturnal program and wrote the procedures. We each get a 1" note book filed with 25 I think chapters covering everything we need to know.
It takes 6 weeks of going to class 4 days a week to learn the process on the Fresienus machine. At first it was tough but the trainor made it easier and easier.
She is extremly knowledgeable. She has an instinct that is unbelieavable.
I think a good trainor is some one who has done many years in - center.
I hope this helps.
Pat :lol:

If I had my preferance, I would certainly like a nurse trainer like yours. But the point was made to me that the machines for home hemo are so simple to learn, that almost any nurse could easily be trained in their operation and turn around and train patients.

I would really be interested in hearing about others training experiences.

I suspect that some people that post to the message boards have not looked at the home page lately to see all the site has to offer. Start at the home page at, you can see at all the topics that are covered. We’re adding to the site all the time. For instance, you can read what Medicare requires in the way of staffing qualifications for a home dialysis program to be Medicare certified at In fact, from this link, you can read the current Conditions for Coverage (the regulations governing dialysis clinics).

As I understand it, when a clinic signs a contract with a company initially to purchase or lease machines, that company sends trainers in to train the home training nurse(s) on that machine. The trainer may be there when the first patient(s) are trained. I don’t know if all clinics do this, but some clinics have their training nurse be at the patient’s home for the first home treatment to be sure everyone is as comfortable as possible.

Although machines all do the same thing essentially, there are some differences in how they operate. Even home training nurses with years of experience want to feel secure in what they’re teaching their patients so getting training from the company that made the machine only makes sense. Meanwhile, learning to do home hemodialysis on some machines takes 6 weeks. Learning on other machines takes 3 weeks or less.

I think it’s important to consider that much of the training is not related to the type of machine specifically, but to dialysis in general, responding to alarms or emergencies that can happen with any type of machine, learning how to cannulate and developing the new buttonholes, preparing the needle tray while keeping things sterile, etc. As far as I know, there is no machine that connects to your blood access or disconnects automatically. Also, people who haven’t done it don’t realize that the vast majority of the “training” time is not really training but simply being on actual dialysis treatment. You come in in the morning, you start setting up your treatment (whatever that setup entails for you), and then you spend 2-3 hours actually just sitting there dialyzing, and hoping the training nurse takes a long coffee break so you don’t have to practice anything :slight_smile:

In my program, there were a number of training nurses, so help was never far.

You spend about the same amount of total time per week doing short daily while training as you did dialyzing 3 times per week - because you still need your dialysis, training or no training. Once you know the setup procedure for your machine (and even on a conventional machine, it only takes a few days for this), most of the actual training time is spent practising things like saline infusion for low blood pressure (but it only takes like a minute and a half to do this). Other than that, there was no exam or anything like that for me, but we did go through handouts for things like recognizing hemolysis, infection symptoms, etc., and my nurse would periodically ask me questions during dialysis.

I think the most important thing for a training nurse is actual and long dialysis experience, not training on a specific machine. Dialysis is dialysis.