ESRD Care Team Discussion Guide

Topics to discuss with your nephrologist & care team 

To help you get the most out of working with your nephrologist and other care team members at end stage renal disease (ESRD)—also known as stage 5 CKD—it may be useful to have a list of things to talk through. 

Remember that your care team wants and needs your input. Participating in your Care Plan and staying informed will help you feel more in control of your kidney health, so you can make decisions that will help you thrive. 

Questions about ESRD or kidney failure

Questions to ask your nephrologist (kidney doctor)


  • What should I expect from ESRD treatment?
  • When should I expect to feel better?
  • Will I be on dialysis for the rest of my life?
  • How can I get the most out of my treatment?
  • Is there anything I may experience that I should contact you about?
  • Do I need to make changes to any other medications I’m taking?
  • Am I a candidate for a kidney transplant? If so, what do I need to do?
  • What do I need to know about over-the-counter medications or vitamins?

Questions to ask your in-center dialysis nurse


  • What can I do to get the most out of my dialysis treatments?
  • How should I expect to feel after dialysis?
  • Is there anything I may experience that I should contact you about?
  • What do I need to know about taking my prescribed medications?
  • How are my fluids? Are there any changes I should make for better fluid management?
  • What can I do to feel my best on dialysis?
  • What do I need to know about over-the-counter medications or vitamins?
  • I’m working. How can I best manage my work and dialysis schedules?

Questions to ask your home dialysis nurse


  • What can I do to get the most out of my home dialysis treatments?
  • How should I expect to feel after dialysis?
  • If I have questions about home dialysis procedures who should I contact?
  • Can I do my treatments by myself or will I need help?
  • How much storage space will I need for supplies and equipment?
  • Is there anything I may experience that I should contact you about?
  • What do I need to know about taking my prescribed medications?
  • What do I need to know about over-the-counter medications or vitamins?
  • I’m working. How can I best manage my work and dialysis schedules?
  • Can I travel while on treatment?
  • What should I do in case of emergency?

Questions to ask your social worker


  • What are some tips for adjusting to my new treatment?
  • How can I balance the things I want to do with the treatment I need to do?
  • If I’m feeling down about CKD, how can I tell if I’m working through normal emotions or if I’m  clinically depressed?
  • I want to get back to feeling like I’m living a life I love. Where do I start?
  • Can I travel while on treatment?
  • How can I help my family and friends understand what I’m going through?
  • Where can I go for peer support?
  • Are there resources that can help me handle the cost of medication or treatment?
  • Are there services that can help with transportation to and from my in-center appointments?

Questions for your renal dietitian


PRINT THIS LIST OF QUESTIONS ABOUT END-STAGE CKD

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