Working While on Dialysis
Stay healthy and Employed
You've just been placed on dialysis, now what?
Don't Quit just yet. Right now dialysis is incredibly scary, even for those who have had time to adjust. Your kidneys have been struggling, and dialysis will take some time to get your system back in better shape, but keep in mind, that many people start to feel better after a few treatments on dialysis.
Family Medical Leave of Absence (FMLA). This will usually allow you a 12-week reprieve from your job to evaluate your options and finances while focusing on your health and new lifestyle needs to make the best decision for you
Budget. one of the biggest impacts dialysis can have on any individual is financial.
-Insurance Coverage: Are you able to find alternate financial coverage to cover costs of treatment and pricey medications? Don't worry, there are options, and our Insurance specialists will be more than willing to help you apply for alternate insurances, but it's best to really look at your finances and see if your budget will allow you to meet the needed costs of copays and premiums.
If you do have insurance through your employer and decide to continue working, check the benefits to see if options for short or long term disability is available.
You can also contact Social Security to estimate your disability income, which may even cover 30-40 percent of your current wages to make your day to day costs more manageable.
Options: Consider the various treatment types and which one will fit your work schedule. Ask your doctor about flexible options such as Peritoneal Dialysis. However if your care team and yourself continue with in center Hemodialysis, as about our Professional Shift
What is a Professional Shift?
A professional shift are dialysis shifts are Hemodialysis shifts at times that allow patients who may choose or need to continue working after being placed on dialysis. All staff is aware of your time constraints and work the extra mile to ensure as little disruption to your life and career.
What Times are these shifts offered?
Our Shift times vary, but before and after working hours:
4:15 AM for those looking to finish treatment and head to work.
6:00 PM for those looking to come right after work.
If these don't meet your needs, just call 678-325-3333 and see what we can do
Am I eligible for a Professional Shift?
Most Likely! All you have to do to apply is request the time slot and give an explanation for needing the times. We understand it may be due to time constraints from your job, or family obligations, and even transportation. We will do our very best to accommodate your lifestyle, but chairs are limited and we can't always guarantee availability. BUT, we will do everything in our power to make dialysis as less of a burden as possible and will alert anyone if chairs become available. We will speak with potentially flexible patients if they may be able to switch. We work as a family and team to ensure everyone is taken care of to stay as healthy as possible without disruption.
How do I Apply?
Just make sure to give us some information and we will do our best!
What do I need to do to stay employed
Communicate with your employer your situation. You are protected by law, and can't be terminated for health reasons, however Dialysis can cause performance issues, so start an open line of communication with your employer. Even with this, I can't underline enough how important taking the first few weeks of FMLA if you can. Being able to succeed in your work environment is most likely only going to be after a few weeks on dialysis. After dialysis has helped your labs go back to normal, and you yourself can understand and adjust to a routine of daily dialysis needs
This ones seems like no brainer, but trust that Dialysis patients have a difficult time with compliance. It's easy to want to skip treatments, its understandable to want to cut treatment shorts, or skip a few meds. And we can completely understand why you might request for faster fluid removal (Another article on that later). DON'T.
Skipping or cutting short treatment leads to greater chance of hospitalization, Missed meds affect your labs, can make you feel much worse. Any non-adherence has consequences that can cause you to miss work or poorly preform, not mention your health.
But we know that dialysis is not easy. And working on dialysis is even harder. Its certainly a challenge, but we will assist as much as possible with courier service pharmacy and a full team cheerleader you on,
This is a tip from just walking around the dialysis floor and talking to the patients who have successfully maintained employment. Look into having a flexible job.
Finding a job that allows for the variable lifestyle of Dialysis is difficult, but again, not impossible.
We have patients that work as Truck Drivers, and Care takers. We have some patients that work office jobs 9-5 M-F. The low physical demands offset the stress of Dialysis, and if ever treatment disrupts their work day, they have worked with their employer to make it up.
We have also seen a lot of patients work on PRN or as needed basis. Their pay is higher than a regular full time position, with less days allowing flexibility to make room for treatment.
There are also many more options, such as freelance work, and work from home or remote. If interested, we can supply some information on these options