The Commonwealth Healthcare Corp.’s Dialysis Unit will join the American Nephrology Nurses’ Association in a nationwide celebration honoring nephrology nurses on Sept. 8-14.
Nephrology nurses care for patients with kidney disease and provide lifesaving care each day. To honor their passion and commitment, ANNA designated the second full week of September each year as Nephrology Nurses’ Week. This year, the CNMI will mark the event with activities recognizing and rewarding nephrology nurses.
Dr. Sherleen Osman, the hospital’s director for Medical Affairs, will spearhead the weeklong celebration by offering a public health fair from Monday to Wednesday—Sept. 9-11—that will focus on hypertension, diabetes, and obesity.
Throughout these days, nursing staff from the hospital and nursing students from the Northern Marianas College will perform blood pressure checks, random blood sugar testing, and body mass index measurements in the Dialysis Unit lobby from 9 am-11 am and 1 pm -3 pm.
Consultation services during this outreach program will also be provided by nephrology nurse practitioner Tara Peacock, NP.
According to dialysis unit manager Karlo Reyes III, this outreach program is free and open to the public. The health fair is also being coordinated by DPH’s Becky Robles and nurse Ernesto Molina.
On Sept. 13, CHCC nephrology nurses will undergo in-service trainings to keep them abreast of the latest policies, treatments, and kidney-related research. The weeklong celebration will be capped by recognizing exemplary nephrology nurses.
ANNA has chosen the theme “Nephrology Nurses Take Action” for this year’s celebration. The theme highlights the way nephrology nurses use their vision, knowledge, and skills to take action and improve patient outcomes. Caring for kidney patients requires nurses to be highly skilled, well educated, and motivated, and nephrology nurses cite the variety and challenges of the specialty as fueling their ongoing passion.
“Nephrology nurses function as educators, direct caregivers, and coordinators to help patients manage their lives while effectively dealing with their health issues. We want to dedicate this week to celebrate and honor the unselfish work nephrology nurses in the CNMI perform daily to uphold the health of hundreds of individuals in the CNMI afflicted with kidney disease,” said Reyes.
ANNA launched Nephrology Nurses Week in 2005 to give employers, patients, and others the opportunity to thank nephrology nurses for their lifesaving work. In addition, ANNA also hopes to spark interest in other nurses about the multifaceted career opportunities available in nephrology. One of the most diverse nursing specialties practiced today, nephrology nurses care for patients of all ages who have, or are at risk for, kidney disease.
About 20 million Americans suffer from kidney disease. Of those patients, over 400,000 experience kidney failure. The rising number of people with kidney disease, many of whom are minorities, is in part attributed to the country’s obesity epidemic, an alarming trend that has led to more cases of diabetes and high blood pressure. Both of these diseases are major contributors to kidney failure.