KidneyBuzz.com has been bombarded with comments, shares, emails, and retweets from Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients to respond to John Oliver's (Emmy Award Winning Late Night Comedian) comments about Dialysis on his HBO Show: Last Week Tonight. While patients can make their own judgments by watching the above video (approximately 24 minutes) they should know that the presentation may appear crude and shockingly lighthearted given the seriousness of the topic as well as has strong and frequent language. The following are tailored insights and key takeaways from the diatribe (forceful and bitter verbal attack against someone or something).
Let's be clear, the KidneyBuzz.com Team does not agree with everything that Mr. Oliver presented which lacked clear understanding in parts, and we are not endorsing his overall dialogue. Still, since Last Week Tonight has a weekly average viewership of 4.6 million and reaches a global audience, it is worth exploring key points which he touches on:
1.) Most people do not know about Dialysis. At the start of the video (00:26), John introduces the lack of understanding of Dialysis with a woman who was asked by her neighbor, "Where do you go three days a week." When the neighbor is told of the patient's Dialysis Treatments, she replied, "So you were a drunk?" This indicates a huge lack of understanding of Kidney Failure and Dialysis. KidneyBuzz.com does our best to use our platform of millions of viewers to raise awareness for the cause of Kidney Failure and the need for more Living Kidney Donors. However, if you are in need of a Kidney Transplant, then you cannot afford to just wait on the list (5 to 7-year average wait-time). Instead, educate others about your need and why you are suffering from Kidney Complications. Click here if you need help.
2.) A Kidney Transplant is not for every patient. John Oliver suggested that everyone should get a Kidney Transplant. Well, the truth is that Kidney Transplants aren't an easy thing. A patient has to take immunosuppressant medication which can be dangerous and lead to side effects. In other cases, Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients have comorbidities (additional health issues) and may be frail which makes surgery risky. Hence, a Kidney Transplant is a solution for some, but not for every patient on Dialysis. If you are struggling on Dialysis Treatments, then let us at KidneyBuzz.com know (firstname.lastname@example.org). We do not offer medical advice but would be more than happy to assist with research or offer additional resources to aid your success.
3.) Employees should not be the main focus of DaVita Inc. over Dialysis patients. Kent J Thiry (CEO of DaVita Inc.) said in a lecture to UCLA students, "I almost never refer to patients in the entire thing because it's not about the patients, it's about the teammates (11:25)." John Oliver's point is that the patients should be the focus of DaVita Inc. and not the "teammates" which are employees (Patient Care Technicians, Nurses, Executives, etc.). Mr. Oliver gets it right here, and many patients have noted that they feel as though they are not getting the focus and attention to their issues that they desire. If you are having issues with your Dialysis Center or feel as though your concerns are being neglected, then let us know and we will direct you to the appropriate resources (click here).
4.) Chairs may not always be wiped down. Megallan Handford (Former Dialysis Nurse) mentioned the transition times between Dialysis patients was so rapid that, "you were not properly disinfecting or doing the things that you needed to do properly (09:52)." To avoid infection, patients should ask their Patient Care Technicians if they were able to wipe down their chair properly before sitting down. Also, patients can bring fresh disinfecting wipes from home to go over their chair again and ensure it is clean enough to sit in.
5.) Make sure that you get your full treatment. One former nurse at DaVita Inc. said, "The priorities were transitioning patients and get them on Dialysis and get the next patient on as soon as possible (09:24)." He continued, "It was all about numbers. You wanted to get them in. Get their Dialysis done, and then get the next patient on." With the constant rush, patients should be conscious of the fact that they get their entire time on Dialysis and it is not shortened. Just check the time that your Dialysis began and make sure the math works for the length of time you are supposed to be on the machine. For example, if you started dialysis exactly at 4:05AM and your session is scheduled for 3.5 hours, then your treatment should end at 7:35AM.
Recommended Reading: The Role That The Dialysis Patient Can Play In Ensuring High Quality Care
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