Peritoneal dialysis nurse job description

The role of the nurse is of utmost importance for patient education and care. But why, what is the role of the peritoneal dialysis nurse, what are their functions?

If you have these questions and many more, let me tell you that you came to the right place.

This article will explain in detail about this type of dialysis, the role of the nurse and the best part, you won’t die trying!

What is Peritoneal Dialysis and how does it work?

This type of dialysis is a treatment for kidney failure that uses the patient’s abdomen or the lining of the abdomen to filter the blood in the body.

Unlike hemodialysis, which is usually performed in a dialysis center, this is a home technique.

But how exactly does it work?

Before starting the procedure, the surgeon in charge places a soft tube (catheter) in the patient’s abdomen. Through it flows from a bag into the abdomen. The bag is then emptied, the catheter is disconnected from the bag, and the bag is covered so that the patient can move about and perform normal activities.

What does dialysis do in the body?

Well, while the dialysis solution is inside the abdomen, it is absorbing toxins and excess fluid from the body.

What are the types of Peritoneal Dialysis?

Peritoneal dialysis is really flexible to the point that it is possible to perform the following treatments:

  • At home.
  • At work.
  • While traveling.

Incredible! Because despite this medical condition you can live as normal a life as possible.

That said, let’s move on to the point of the types of peritoneal dialysis.

Continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis

In this method, the abdomen is filled with fluid and, best of all, you will not be prevented from continuing with your daily routine until it is time to drain the fluid.

This is because you are not connected to anything for the duration of the stay and do not need a machine. Simply put, gravity is helping you to drain the fluid.

On the other hand, the residence period is between 4 and 6 hours with an exchange of appropriately 3 to 4 per day.

Continuous Cycle Peritoneal Dialysis

The function of this type of peritoneal dialysis is at the time of sleep; since it is connected to the machine between 10 to 12 hours. During that period of hours the exchange is performed between 3 to 5.

The amazing thing about this procedure is that it allows you to spend more time during the day without having to do exchanges.

What is the role of the Peritoneal Dialysis nurse?

Once we have understood what peritoneal dialysis is and the types, let’s continue with the important role of the nurse, which are the following:

  • To perform home care.
  • To reinforce protection against infections.
  • To serve as a bridge between the patient and the physician.
  • To make home visits.
  • Apply an adequate protocol to avoid possible complications: catheter infection, peritonitis, etc.
  • Advise and support if there is a new treatment.
  • Develop the program to adequately care for home peritoneal dialysis.
  • Supervise the necessary material in the medical center.

What are the main objectives of peritoneal dialysis nursing?

  • To motivate and teach self-care.
  • To reduce the amount of associated complications.
  • To stimulate the learning process of the patient and family members.
  • To achieve family support and a great rehabilitation of the patient.
  • To promote safety and confidence in the technique.
  • To promote a continuous interaction. In order to listen to the patient and understand what is in his mind.

Important Aspects of a Peritoneal Dialysis Nurse’s Role

There are really a great number of aspects that a peritoneal dialysis nurse should have, however, the following five will be emphasized:

  • Nurse always should show empathy with the patient
  • To be adaptable and flexible.
  • Know how to work in a team.
  • Ability to seek advice from other nurses.
  • Continuous training.


The role of the peritoneal dialysis nurse needs a balance between scientific knowledge and principles (autonomy, justice, responsibility, beneficence, benevolence, respect, etc.) since it is of utmost importance when making the best decisions or when talking to the patient and family.

Marlene J. Shockley

My name is Marlene J. Shockley, and I am a Registered Nurse (RN). I have always been interested in helping people and Nursing seemed like the perfect career for me. After completing my Nursing Degree, I worked in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, and home health care. I have also had the opportunity to work as a Travelling Nurse, which has allowed me to see different parts of the country and meet new people. No matter where I am working, I enjoy getting to know my patients and their families and helping them through whatever medical challenges they may be facing.