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Diagnosis: Chronic kidney disease, now what!

The occupational health nurse can play an important role in supporting employees with CKD and ESRD by recognizing risk factors such as diabetes and hypertension associated with CKD. The occupational health nurse should encourage compliance with treatment regimens that retard or delay progression of kidney disease into the next stage, especially blood pressure and glucose control. When employees are in need of diagnostic testing, the occupational health nurse can describe the testing procedures such as laboratory values, ultrasounds, and biopsies, and explain the five stages of CKD. The occupational health nurse can assist employees in Stage 4 or 5 CKD in deciding on a treatment option modality that best suits their individual lifestyles, after they have seen a nephrologist and kidney patient educator. In addition, the occupational health nurse can guide employees with difficult lifestyle changes and provide support during the adjustment process. The occupational health nurse also can play a key role in facilitating and coordinating those changes with the renal social worker. Together they can explore available resources, such as the NKF, the American Association of Kidney Patients, and See the Sidebar on pages 295 to 296 for other available resources. Kidney disease can be a devastating diagnosis. Support and education are key to a successful lifestyle transition. Employees who have CKD and work with an occupational health nurse who is informed about their disease and its stages of progression can benefit from educational processes that create informed choices to delay or retard the progression of their renal disease.[1]


  1. Diagnosis: Chronic kidney disease, now what! Ross, P.E., Groenhoff, C., Zin, P. AAOHN journal : official journal of the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses. (2004) [Pubmed]
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