Nephrology Nurses Week Shines Spotlight on Those Inspired to Provide Compassionate Care

Former Fresenius Kidney Care Dialysis Patient Now a Nephrology Nurse Inspires, Empowers His Patients

Waltham, Mass. Sept. 12, 2016 – Nephrology nurse Blake Schuchardt, RN knows just how to encourage, inspire and empower his patients as they undergo dialysis treatments because he’s been there. During Nephrology Nurses Week, Sept. 11-17, and throughout the year, Schuchardt exemplifies the compassion, understanding and dedication of nurses who work with dialysis patients at Fresenius Kidney Care, the dialysis division of Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA) and a leading network of dialysis facilities. 

Schuchardt started his nursing career at the same clinic where he first received dialysis for a year-and-a-half after his kidneys failed due to a bacterial meningitis infection when he was 17 years old. After receiving a kidney transplant, he went to nursing school and now works as a Fresenius Kidney Care home therapies dialysis nurse in Harrisburg, Ill.

“During my time on dialysis, I really got to know the nurses who took care of me and they helped me realize that while I needed dialysis to live, I could still live the life I wanted to,” said Schuchardt, now 29, married and the father of a little girl. “Not to sound cliché, but I wanted to ‘pay it forward’ and inspire others living with kidney disease, which is why I chose to become a nephrology nurse. I understand what my patients are going through and what they’re feeling. I can give them recommendations and help resolve their doubts, just as my nurses did for me.”

Schuchardt is one of many Fresenius Kidney Care nephrology nurses whose dialysis experience – either their own or that of a loved one – has inspired them to go into the profession. Fresenius Kidney Care’s high-quality, personalized care not only keeps people alive, but helps them live beyond their expectations.

“Our nurses are committed to empowering patients throughout their individual journeys so they can continue living life, doing what is important to them, and thriving,” said William Valle, executive vice president of FMCNA and president of Fresenius Kidney Care. “For this, we are immensely proud of and grateful to our nurses for their compassion and dedication.”

The American Nephrology Nurses Association (ANNA) launched Nephrology Nurses Week in 2005 to give employers, patients and others the opportunity to thank nephrology nurses for their life-saving 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.

Approximately 26 million people in the United States have chronic kidney disease (CKD). An estimated 430,000 Americans living with CKD require dialysis to filter their blood because their kidneys have lost the ability to function effectively. To learn more about kidney disease, dialysis and the compassionate providers at Fresenius Kidney Care, visit https://www.freseniuskidneycare.com/.

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About Fresenius Kidney Care

Fresenius Kidney Care, a division of Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA), provides dialysis treatment and services to nearly 200,000 people with kidney disease at more than 2,200 facilities nationwide. Fresenius Kidney Care supports people by helping to address both the physical and emotional aspects of kidney disease through personalized care, education and lifestyle support services so they can lead meaningful and fulfilling lives. 

Fresenius Kidney Care patients have access to FMCNA’s integrated network of kidney care services ranging from cardiology and vascular care to pharmacy and lab services as well as urgent care centers and the country’s largest practice of hospitalist and post-acute providers. 

As a leader in renal care technology, innovation and clinical research, FMCNA’s more than 67,000 employees are dedicated to the mission of delivering superior care that improves the quality of life for people with kidney disease. For more information about Fresenius Kidney Care, visit www.freseniuskidneycare.com, like us on Facebook at facebook.com/FreseniusKidneyCare and follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/FreseniusKC

About Fresenius Medical Care North America

Fresenius Medical Care North America is the premier health care company focused on providing the highest quality care to people with renal and other chronic conditions. Through its industry-leading network of dialysis facilities, outpatient cardiac and vascular labs, and urgent care centers, as well as the country’s largest practice of hospitalist and post-acute providers, Fresenius Medical Care North America provides coordinated health care services at pivotal care points for hundreds of thousands of chronically ill customers throughout the continent. As the world’s largest fully integrated renal company, it offers specialty pharmacy and laboratory services, and manufactures and distributes the most comprehensive line of dialysis equipment, disposable products and renal pharmaceuticals. For more information, visit the FMCNA website at www.freseniusmedicalcare.us