Hugo Varela Brom, on dialysis since five years, is being treated in the Diaverum Crani Lagomar Clinic in Canelones, on the coast of Uruguay, Latin America. He is married and lives as close to a normal life as possible despite his disease. Hugo has a bachelor degree in historical sciences and works as a research journalist focusing on Latin American history for newspapers and two radio stations, where he has his own monthly programme. When connected to the dialysis machine, he usually prepares his radio programmes or write articles for different newspapers. “I would certainly prefer to do something else than going on dialysis, but I feel very secure coming to the Diaverum clinic three times a week.”
“I meet many people who are very negative because they suffer from kidney failure. For me it is a matter of attitude. Everybody is responsible for his/her own life and we all have a role in life – to give something. The trick is to stay optimistic and with the Diaverum nurses and doctors, who care for us as individuals, not only patients, I can”.
The Lutsk City hospital in north-western Ukraine this month took delivery of a truck-load of machines, supplies, beds and other furniture that had been donated by Diaverum Sweden via Barnmissionen, the Swedish branch of the international Children’s Mission organisation.
Diaverum’s Malmö clinic was handed back to the public system in May which meant we had to figure out what to do with the equipment. Some, clearly, could be redistributed to the other Diaverum clinics in Sweden, but the situation also presented an opportunity to do something charitable. Barnmissionen, which works to support children in need, was the perfect choice.
Mikael Joume, from Barnmissionen, contacted Diaverum this week to say that the equipment has arrived safely, has been installed and is now in operation.
He wrote: “Our warmest thanks for the gifts and that you thought of the Children’s Mission.”
Lyudmila Lonyuk, a representative of the charity in the Ukraine, also wrote to say that the hospital in Lutsk was in desperate need of furniture and equipment. “Thank you once again for your wonderful help,” she wrote.
Lutsk City hospital is a 700-bed hospital which treats more than 25,000 people a year, performing some 10,000 operations annually. All emergency patients, homeless and poor patients from Lutsk and its surrounding districts use this hospital.
Sweden Country Managing Director, Christina Sterner, says “We were sad to close the Malmö clinic and see our patients and colleagues leave, but it brings us much joy and it is inspiring to see that some of the leftover equipment has found a new well deserving home.”
If you have ever had to be admitted to hospital, you are probably already aware of the tremendous impact that a caring nurse can have on the overall quality of your recovery. This is because nurses are the beating hearts of the healthcare system. Nurses are with patients and their families in their darkest times and also their happiest times. They are there to hand a new baby to the mother or hold the hand of one who just needs a friend.
And so, one might ask, what has brought over 16 million men and women throughout the world to choose the nursing profession. The answer is that they are all united by the passion to help people. Naglaa Maddh, Head Nurse, at Diaverum’s Prince Mohammed Bin AbdulAziz Dialysis Centre in Riyadh, explained “I always knew I wanted to help people, which is why I initially entered medical school. But a couple of months in, while I was accompanying my father to the hospital, I realised that the nurses were really the ones spending time with patients. The sincere dedication I saw that day inspired me to leave medical and become a nurse”.
This same passion also led Meshal Al Khulayfi, a Country Vascular Access Coordinator who works alongside Naglaa, to a career in nursing. “I love to make people feel better and an important part of this is to create a trusting relationship with my patients”. Having understood the importance of creating a friendly and inviting environment for their patients, Naglaa and Meshal visit each of their patients individually as soon as they arrive at the clinic.
“We make it a point to listen to the patients’ concerns” said Naglaa “and then we try to integrate their suggestions. This lets our patients know that we are here for them and that they are important to us”.
However, although helping people can be a fulfilling way to spend your work day, this line of work does not come without challenges. Meshal explained “As a nurse, and especially as a renal-care nurse, I need to double my efforts to make sure that our patients are receiving all of the support they need. Most of our patients suffer from chronic kidney disease and so they need to visit our clinic 3 times a week for 4 hours each time. Overtime, the repetitive therapy takes a toll on their emotional and psychological well-being”.
all around the world will generally agree that their profession is very rewarding and this, for various reasons. For example, as a Head Nurses, Naglaa feels particularly fulfilled when she finds the perfect balance between the satisfaction of her patients and that of her nurses. Naglaa adds “I want to make sure that the nurses feel that they can count on me for support and that the patients know that I am here for them to voice their concerns. It is not always easy to balance both, but when I walk around and feel like I have contributed to an overall positive environment in the clinic, words cannot express the joy this brings me”.
As for Meshal, the most rewarding aspect of his job is when patients are grateful for his efforts. A simple and sincere thank you from them is enough to make his job worthwhile for him. “I had one patient in particular that was really grateful” says Meshal “He invited me to his house so that his whole family could meet me. I have found that patients are the happiest when you become friends with them, and in this case I believe our friendship truly will go beyond the walls of the clinic”.
Today, Naglaa and Meshal, are proud to have become renal-care nurses. On the occasion of International Nurses Day, we should all take a moment to reflect on how nurses have helped us and our families. On behalf of the millions of patients throughout the world, we would like to thank all nurses for their caring and dedicated service.
Meet Melinda, a 34-year-old Hungarian and is now a mother of six. Why is that special? She delivered her twins as a dialysis patient.
The story with Melinda’s kidneys began 7-8 years ago. She had already had four kids by then and during the fourth pregnancy she started struggling with hypertension. In 2010 she was diagnosed with atrophic kidneys (kidney shrinkage) and became a dialysis patient.
From 2012 she has been treated three times a week in Diaverum Hungary’s Laszlo. She had two failed pregnancies within two years, but she didn’t give up on a fifth child and, in 2015, she conceived once more — and this time she was carrying twins!
Melinda was on HD during the whole pregnancy without major complications. She had dialysis sessions six times a week according to Dr Albert’s prescriptions. “This was the first time in my career that we assisted to a successful pregnancy. The whole team was united, we had a close and fruitful cooperation with the gynaecologist and the obstetrician. We were focusing on the mother-to-be and on all the delicate aspects of her treatment to avoid the possible complications,” adds Dr Albert.
Finally, Melinda gave birth to two healthy babies: a boy and a girl. The twins were born premature, but are now both doing fine and Melinda, while on dialysis, is a happy mother again.
“It was a real challenge all along. We were worried, of course, keeping our fingers crossed for her, but we were also confident and committed to help her through this difficult period,” comments Katalin Tolnai, Head Nurse at Laszlo.
“We continue to take care of the mother and we take a keen interest in the family’s future. We are very happy for them wishing all the best for the family,” adds Dr Marietta Török, Hungary Country Medical Director.
UK Operations Director, Rachel Hucknall, led a team of Diaverum climbers up Ben Nevis to raise money for the National Kidney Federation.
Ben Nevis stands at 1,346 metres and is the highest peak on the British Isles, located at the western end of the Grampian Mountains in the Scottish Highlands. On 25 June, an orange-clad team representing Diaverum reached the summit as part of a money raising initiative for the UK’s National Kidney Federation (NKF).
Rachel Hucknall was joined by Desiree Nhlapo, Clinic Manager at Diaverum’s Great Bridge clinic in Birmingham, and Karla Salt, Head of Lean Operations from the corporate office. The ascent and descent took them nine hours. The team managed to raise more than two thousand pounds for the NKF.
“It was an incredible experience,” says Rachel. “Besides the personal achievement of reaching Britain’s highest peak, we’re also thrilled at being able to raise a considerable sum for the NKF.”
Patient focus The NKF is Diaverum UK’s chosen charity of 2016 and the team has already run a number of activities this year — a fashion show, one nurse ran a marathon, clinics have done raffles and cake bakes; Eastbourne clinic manager, Sonia Figueiredo, completed the Eastbourne triathlon and raised more than thirteen hundred pounds, etc. — to raise money and awareness.
UK Country Managing Director, Mick Hartnett, praises the efforts of the Ben Nevis team and indeed all the fundraising completed so far this year and highlights how the NKF’s mission aligns well to Diaverum’s.
“It is this unrelenting focus on the patient that convinced us to support them as our chosen charity this year,” he says.
Its only six days left until the first European summer camp for children with renal disease, called KREW, opens its doors! Is everything prepared? We spoke to Iwona Mazur and Michał Dębski-Korzec organizing the camp:
How do you feel about the Camp Krew opening this summer? Prepared, unprepared? Scared excited? Iowana: To be honest, slightly scared. This is the first time we are organizing a camp on a European level. It is a fantastic idea but there is still a lot to do as preparation.
Michal: We cannot forget how excited we are. This is the first European summer camp happening in Krakow. We will have an international group of staff and campers that I look forward to meeting. Nonetheless, we are hoping for some good weather.
What is your companies goal/mission? Iowana: Our goal is to set up this first European summer camp for these wonderful children. Our mission is to provide the kids and society with valid information about CKD. We aim to educate society rather than the kids and I think that the children will help us the most with spreading awareness about CKD.
What makes Camp Krew unique? Iowana: What is unique about Camp Krew is that it is the first European summer camp for participants with CKD. Also Krakow is a very special and beautiful place. I hope that our efforts will give us good results and that all the children are happy. What also stands out about Camp Krew is the peer-learning education going on. There are so many different languages, cultures and histories and by communicating with each other the children will be able to learn about life and grow independently.
Do you feel Camp Krew will be successful in the future? Why? Michal: Camp Krew will not be a onetime edition. This is a long-term project with a dedicated team. We hope that the kids will be excited to come back to Camp Krew next year in a different country. Camp Krew will give the kids great life experiences and allow them to see a different country every summer.
How do you plan on educating the kids on CKD? Iowana: We are not specifically concentrating on educating the children about CKD, they live with it and already know so much. Instead we are putting pressure on our peer learning system and having fun so that they can learn from each other. We want to guide them to become independent and make their own decisions so that they are ready for life. We hope to encourage communication rather than strictly education.
Do you have any additional comments you would like to share with the public? Iowana: I just want to share that we are aiming to educate society about CKD rather than the children. They know all about it and that is why the children will help us greatly to spread awareness about this problem that is not very well known. I also wish to share that everything here at Camp Krew is special, the group of teenagers are bright and we can’t wait for them to come. Lastly, we hope that Camp Krew will be could PR for CKD as it is a very important chronic illness that needs to be better know.
Congratulations – Jon Hosking and Julie Tondello have been recognised by the Renal Society of Australasia!
Jon and Julie were the very worthy recipients of, between them, four prestigious awards at the Renal Society of Australasia’s Annual Conference held on the Gold Coast, Queensland, 21-22 June.
Jon was appointed Clinic Manager for Diaverum’s new clinic in Auckland, New Zealand, earlier this year but had been an active RSA member for a number of years in his previous hometown of Perth in Western Australia. It was for his work there that he won the RSA Western Australia Branch Award 2016 (as nominated by his colleagues in the RSA WA Branch).
He also collected the overall RSA Award which recognises individuals who have made an outstanding contribution/commitment to the RSA/renal community at a local and/or national level. The Association noted that Jon is a well-deserved recipient for his tireless work which included, until recently, chairing the RSA WA Branch and serving as Convenor of the 2015 conference in Perth.
Julie, Associate Nurse Unit Manager from Victoria’s Diamond Valley Clinic and a Diaverum employee since May 2010, had an outstanding result by being awarded both the Best Advanced Paper and People’s Choice Award. Her innovative presentation, ‘Could your fistula rupture?’, dealt with how an occurrence of this type should be managed. This material was developed after a pre-survey of Diamond Valley patients discovered that 90 per cent had either no idea or a limited understanding of this.
Dialysis patient Greg Collette, who co-authored the presentation with Julie, flew to the Gold Coast for support.
In addition to the overwhelming response received by everyone, Julie was invited to publish an article in the Nursing Journal, participate in a trial at Auckland Hospital and roll out her studies as education material to the renal community. Her topic was simple, yet inspired many.
Australia Country Managing Director, Esteban Harper Cox, says it is a pleasure to have both employees as part of the Australasian team. “I would like to congratulate both Jon and Julie on these wonderful achievements,” he adds.