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Can I Still Work While on Kidney Dialysis?

Living with chronic kidney disease may require you to make significant life changes.

Living with chronic kidney disease may require you to make significant life changes. One such change may be starting kidney dialysis. However, patients on dialysis can still lead a productive life, and many people on dialysis are still able to go to work. Nevertheless, there are some things you’ll need to take into consideration.

What is Kidney Dialysis?

Kidney dialysis is a treatment that does the work of your kidneys when they can no longer do it on their own. With dialysis, toxins and extra fluid are removed from your blood through a machine. There are two types of dialysis: hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.


Hemodialysis is the most common type of dialysis. It uses a special machine to clean your blood. During hemodialysis, you’ll be connected to the machine by tubes. The machine will remove waste and extra fluid from your blood and then return clean blood to your body. This process usually takes about four hours, and you’ll need to do it at least three times a week.

The good news is there are many at-home hemodialysis options available, so you may still maintain some degree of normalcy in your life. Some people on hemodialysis prefer doing their treatments overnight while they sleep.

Peritoneal Dialysis

If you opt for peritoneal dialysis, the cleaning process will be done inside your body. This type of dialysis uses the lining of your abdomen (peritoneum), and a sterile solution called dialysate to clean your blood. This is done either through a machine called a cycler or manually through a process called continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD).

With CAPD, you’ll need to clean your peritoneum and fill your abdomen with dialysate several times a day. The solution will then drain on its own. This peritoneal dialysis may be done at home, allowing you much more freedom and flexibility.

3 Tips for Working While on Dialysis

If you’re wondering whether or not you can maintain your job while on kidney dialysis, the answer is likely yes. However, there are a few things you should take into consideration. Following these tips may make working while on dialysis much easier.

1. Be Open with Your Employer

If you are diagnosed with chronic kidney disease and need to start dialysis, it may help to be open with your employer. Kidney disease may progress quickly, so you’ll want to keep your employer updated on your condition. This way, they can make any necessary accommodations in advance.

In addition, your employer may not understand the full extent of what you’re dealing with and how it will affect your job. Being open and honest may help your employer better understand your situation and adjust accordingly.

2. Understand Your Treatment Schedule

One of the most important things to consider while working on dialysis is your treatment schedule. Having a set schedule outside of work will help make things much more manageable. Be sure your employer is aware of the days and times you’ll need to be at your dialysis appointments.

In addition, make sure you leave plenty of time for travel and rest before and after your treatments. Kidney dialysis may be exhausting, so you’ll want to make sure you have time to recover between appointments.

3. Consider Working from Home

If your job allows, you may want to consider working from home at least part-time. This may help cut down on travel time and make it easier to schedule your dialysis appointments. In addition, working from home may allow you to undergo treatment while still being productive at work. Of course, not all jobs can be done from home. But, if you have the option, it may be worth considering.

Manage Your Chronic Kidney Disease with KHC

Kidney dialysis may be a complex process, but it doesn’t have to mean the end of your career. With the right precautions, you may continue working while on dialysis. The Kidney & Hypertension Center (KHC) can help you manage your chronic kidney disease and get the necessary treatment. If you’re looking for comprehensive kidney care, request an appointment today and see how we can help.

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