Celebrate Nephrology Nurses Week September 9-15 as a way to thank, honor and recognize these highly dedicated membrs of the medical community. ANNA, the American Nephrology Nurses Association, marks this occasion during the second week of September. Everyday, nephrology nurses use their education, skillsets and kind demeanor in order to provide kidney patients with life-saving — and life-changing — work. This year, the theme is “Nephrology Nurses Aspire to Excellence.”
Nephrology Nurses Week - History
Life saving medications were introduced
These included immunosuppressants — medications that suppress the immune system in order to keep the body from rejecting a new kidney via a transplant.
First successful transplant
Although kidney transplants were attempted earlier, Joseph E. Murray, an American plastic surgeon, performed the first successful kidney transplant in Boston on identical twins.
An advancement in the nephrology field
Willem Kolff, a pioneer in the field of artificial organs, completes the first successful use of hemodialysis, a tool that purifies the blood and can improve kidney function.
Blood pressure tools improved
Scipione Riva-Ricci, an Italian internist and pediatrician, used a cuff around the arm to improve blood pressure readings.
Kidney disease was recognized for the first time
Richard Bright, an English physician, recognized that kidney disease was separate from other medical conditions.
How to Observe Nephrology Nurses Week
1. Get patients in on the action
Patients (and family members) might write cards or post on social media using #NephrologyNursesWeek so they can show their appreciation for the nurses who work so hard.
2. Reach out to newspapers, websites and local TV
Take advantage of this week to offer journalists specific nurses and stories of interest.
3. Put your appreciation on display
Reach out to local hospitals, schools, and libraries to and ask if you can set up a special display that honors and celebrates the nephrology nurses in the area.
5 Important Things To Know About Kidney Disease
1. Kidney transplant numbers are low
Of the approximately 90,000 U.S. patients waiting for a kidney, only 20 percent of them will actually get the opportunity.
2. One kidney is enough
Although most people are born with two kidneys, you can still live a full, healthy life with only one functioning kidney.
3. Common health issues are the leading cause of kidney disease
Diabetes and high blood pressure — issues that affect many people — cause approximately 44% of kidney failure cases in the U.S.
4. Too many people suffer from kidney disease
Approximately 13% of adults in the U.S. suffer from a kidney disease.
5. Kidney disease targets a certain age group
Although kidney disease affects people from all age groups, people over 60 have the highest odds of developing it.
Why Nephrology Nurses Week is Important
Nephrology nurses serve, inspire, motivate, and encourage their patients to survive and overcome their kidney disease. Caring for kidney patients requires an exceptional skill level.
Nephrology nurses use their vision, knowledge, and skills to improve patient outcomes. They cite the variety and challenges of the specialty as fueling their ongoing passion.
Nursing students have the opportunity to learn what the field of nephrology entails. The week might inspire them to follow one of the many paths in this field.