Importance of Community
For those going to a dialysis center, you will have the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life, and if you’re lucky you will develop friendships with those on your regular dialysis shifts. These relationships can become more important than you realize for both you and your family.
While you might be very happy to leave the dialysis center and your dialysis shift group at the end of the day, you might want to consider getting to know the people in the chairs beside you and exchanging phone number information with the ones you click with. Dialysis centers can change over time, sometimes the staff will change, other times the center will be bought by a larger group and the dynamics within the center can change.
If you are in a metropolitan area where there are multiple centers to choose from, this could result in patients moving between dialysis centers. Keeping in touch with your fellow dialysis patients can be a positive networking activity. If someone you know and whose opinion you have learned to value over time moves to another dialysis center you can learn from them the pros and cons of that move, which can help you and your family and caregivers decide if moving to another dialysis center is the right option for you. Additionally, as information sharing goes both ways, if you or your fellow group members like to travel, you can share information on preferred out of state dialysis centers.
Developing relationships with people whose judgement you trust can be very valuable for your overall health care. It takes time to grow those relationships, but you never know who might become a true friend in your dialysis community!