When most people think of social workers, they think of government workers who help the poor. Few patients starting dialysis know that the social worker on their care team can help them get financial and other help, and also help them cope with kidney disease and treatment.
Your dialysis social worker will talk with you soon after you start treatment and can help you most if you are open and honest about how you feel. He or she may ask about your background and concerns, including:
- Who is in your family and who is at home with you
- What other support you can count on
- Your work and vocational goals
- Your treatment choice and how it affects your lifestyle and job, if you have one
- Your health insurance
- Your money concerns
- How you plan to get to and from dialysis three times each week, if you choose in-center treatment
- Your household chores
- Your other health problems and how you have coped with them
- What activities you enjoy
Your dialysis social worker can help you address problems or concerns and plan for changes that you will likely face. Your social worker wants to help you live a full life, whether you receive your kidney dialysis treatments at home or in a clinic.Content from Kidney School, a program of the Medical Education Institute, Inc.