A Place to Feel Better
All dialysis treatments can be safe and effective. What’s really important is exploring all of your options and choosing a treatment type you’re comfortable with. In-center dialysis offers the reassurance of staff-assisted treatment, labs and checkups all in one place—in the company of others going through the same thing. To make an informed decision on what’s right for you, explore all of the dialysis options.
Choosing a Dialysis Center: A Home Away from Home
Besides choosing to go on hemodialysis, choosing the right dialysis treatment center will be one of the most important decisions you will make for your physical—and emotional—well-being. Three times every week, your center will be your home away from home. You’ll want to make sure the center you choose is nearby and has everything you need. You’ll also want to feel comfortable with the treatment team and the environment.
If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed as you begin your search, you may wish to ask your doctor which nearby dialysis treatment centers he or she recommends and why. You’ll want to research these centers carefully. Consider some of the pointers below to help you make an informed choice.
Things to consider
Not all treatment centers are the same
Ask about the dialysis treatment options each center offers. For example, if you and your doctor have decided that in-center nocturnal hemodialysis is best for you, then it’s important that the center you are considering offers this treatment option. If not, you will need to find another center that supports your dialysis treatment plan.
Location. Location. Location.
Consider how far the center is from your home, work or school. Think about the distance you’re willing to travel for your treatment. People receiving treatment at a dialysis center typically travel to and from their facility 3 times a week. So, it’s important to do the math—add up your treatment time plus your expected travel time to come up with the total time needed to complete your dialysis each week.
Take a tour
Call the dialysis centers you’re interested in and ask to take a tour of their facilities. Be sure to meet the treatment team, see the treatment rooms and take in the atmosphere. Bring a family member or friend along for moral support. You’ll be spending a lot of time there, so it’s important that you feel as comfortable as possible.
Keep those questions coming
Talk to the center’s treatment team and ask questions about your care, including what a typical treatment day is like. Ask how each team member will support you during treatments. What’s your overall impression of the team? Do you feel comfortable with them?
What else do they offer?
Ask if they have other services besides dialysis. Do they have hemodialysis travel services, disaster response assistance, pharmacy services, a home program or ongoing educational programs? These considerations can tip the scales in favor of one place over another.