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Dialysis nurses are certified in BLS (Basic Life Support, at the Provider Level) and frequently, Hemodialysis Administration. Nurses may perform both kidney and peritoneal dialysis, although kidney dialysis is the most common. Nurses may work in the hospital or at local dialysis centers. Patients are most frequently on dialysis on a permanent basis because of kidney failure, although dialysis may also be short-term for temporarily compromised kidney functioning. Nurses working on a dialysis unit access a surgically-placed fistula located on the patient's arm. Patients who are long-time dialysis patients frequently have one fistula stop working and may require a second to be placed. The dialysis nurse is responsible for assessment of a patent fistula site. Throughout administration of dialysis, the nurse will be assessing the patient's vital signs closely. A spike in temperature, a low blood pressure or heart rate is immediate cause for dialysis to be discontinued. A close relationship with dialysis patients is possible, as the nurse will see the patient several times per week.

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