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Short Course on Peritoneal Dialysis Nursing – Vellore, India

Reena Rachel George, RN, MSN

Professor, College of Nursing, and Nurse Manager, Dialysis Unit and Renal Transplant Unit, Christian Medical College, Vellore, India. Member of the ISN Kidney Health Professionals Working Group

The incidence and prevalence of chronic kidney disease is increasing nationally and globally owing to the growing percentage of population living with diabetes and hypertension. 20-30% of patients with kidney failure in India are not initiated in any form of kidney replacement therapy (KRT) due to inaccessibility to healthcare facilities or financial constraints. Popularity for peritoneal dialysis (PD) is gaining momentum in India since its conception in the year 1991. The fact that PD therapy does not require vascular access or a healthcare facility and that it can be learned and performed by patients or their family members in their own homes makes it a viable and attractive option of KRT for many. The scope of PD nurses is immense as they can demonstrate autonomy in their roles as educators, counsellors, facilitators, patient advocates, and researchers. Nurses adequately trained in PD will be able to efficiently run PD programs in their setting in coordination with the nephrology team, incorporating evidence-based scientific knowledge.

The College of Nursing and Department of Nephrology at the Christian Medical College in Vellore, India, designed a short course on peritoneal dialysis nursing to give registered nurses (GNM and BSC) the specialized knowledge, skills, and competence to provide PD to patients with kidney failure. The course would also equip nurses to educate, train, and counsel patients and caregivers on various aspects of PD therapy. The 4-week course consists of 27 hours of structured theory, 153 hours of clinical practice, and would be offered multiple times throughout 2020.

Professor Reena George, course Coordinator, states: “Christian Medical College in Vellore, South India is a 2900-bed tertiary care teaching hospital with a well-established Dialysis unit. We have 70-80 patients initiated on Peritoneal Dialysis each year, having about 180 patients for training and follow up. The facility adheres to the international standards and protocols of care and has a nursing and medical faculty who are adept at teaching/training in PD. Our department provides an excellent opportunity for kidney health professionals from elsewhere to come and learn and hence this endeavour. A similar training program in hemodialysis training is also being planned.”

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