Every day, many thousands of nurses on all continents make a significant contribution to our patients’ wellbeing. They come from different cultures and bring their own experience and beliefs with them.
Nurses like Christine Bardon from France, Lorie Atkins from the U.S. and Tetyana Kazmyrova from Ukraine. Wherever they come from, they are all united by a shared purpose: To create a future worth living. For patients. Worldwide. Every day.
Education is key
Being diagnosed with kidney disease can feel overwhelming, and the treatment options are complex. That is why it is important to educate patients along their entire journey.
Christine Bardon has made this her life’s work. As a consulting nurse, she supports patients with education that is tailored to their individual needs. “I wanted to be closer to patients before dialysis, and also during their treatment,” says Bardon. She works as a patient education expert at the NephroCare clinic in Tassin-Charcot, France, and cares for patients at different stages of chronic kidney disease.
“Each week, I meet stage 4 patients in a group setting to discuss topics such as kidney function, medication and nutrition,” she says. “For stage 5 patients, I make individual appointments where we talk about dialysis techniques, treatment sessions, and kidney transplants.” Bardon has a close relationship with her patients and their families. “They are always so appreciative, and the positive feedback is a driving force that motivates me every day.”
The positive feedback is a driving force that motivates me every day.
A calling for caring
In addition to being a registered nurse for Fresenius Medical Care, Lorie Atkins supports her husband who has been on dialysis for more than 20 years. As such, she has the unique perspective of being both a care partner and a nurse.
Atkins has a strong faith and says, “My purpose is to give people hope.” As a Kidney Care Advocate, she has two recommendations for care partners of people being treated at home. The first is to make dialysis a fun day. She suggests ordering a takeout or watching a movie.
The second is to not become a servant. There are some things patients can and should do themselves – which makes everyone feel better. She has a message for center staff, too: “What we do matters. It’s not just that we show up and do our job. We really make a difference."
We really make a difference.
Teamwork knows no bounds
After twelve years at the hemodialysis center in Chernihiv, Tetyana Kazmyrova thought she had seen it all: Working in a large team providing outstanding personal care to almost 100 patients with chronic kidney disease, she had watched a young dialysis patient carry her pregnancy to term under the professional supervision of the clinic’s staff; and for two years during the pandemic, she worked three shifts a day in the COVID-19 patients’ ward to ensure treatment for a handful of patients without becoming infected herself.
And then Russia invaded Ukraine. Being under siege, losing power and water and having to work in a cold basement to treat patients and offer them and their families shelter, Kazmyrova realized why she had become a nurse in the first place. “The war has united us. We looked like an independent combat unit, getting up every morning at six, putting on our uniforms and continuing to provide full-scale hemodialysis therapy even under the most extreme conditions,” she explains. “We realized that the most important thing is human life. Our team members turned out to be real heroes. They practically lived at work, with the bravest standing for hours in the bread line.”
Kazmyrova feels the war has forged an even stronger bond between colleagues and patients. “We’ve been through a lot together, but most of all I’m inspired by the grateful look in my patients’ eyes. That motivates me even more to protect them and save their lives.”
I’m inspired by the grateful look in my patients’ eyes.