Getting Back to Work or School on Dialysis

The Networks encourages providers to promote optimal care for individuals with End Stage Renal Disease. Optimal care not only includes safe and quality care, but must also include efforts to improve patient independence, quality of life, and rehabilitation.

The ESRD Federal Regulations specify that the interdisciplinary team (IDT) must assist patients in achieving and sustaining an appropriate level of productive activity, as desired by the patient and make rehabilitation and vocational rehabilitation referrals as appropriate. In addition, the patient plan of care must reflect the evaluation of the patient’s physical activity level and referral to vocational and physical rehabilitation services when appropriate.

The Networks would like to offer some suggestive strategies which may be beneficial in promoting vocational rehabilitation in your facility. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Providing the patients with job retention strategies
  • Making referrals to job-training or re-training, employment counseling and/or placement services
  • Conducting timely patient assessments
  • Reviewing your facility’s practices to determine if they are work friendly (i.e. Does your facility prioritize schedules for people who work or attend school? Does your facility encourage and support home dialysis options?)
  • Keeping brochures and other materials on rehabilitation in public areas
  • Encouraging all staff to reinforce with patients the belief that the patients can work while on dialysis and after successful transplantation

Useful Resources:

Support Groups



Man leaning back in chair

Network 9 (IN, KY, OH)

Andrea Bates, LSW, MSW
Patient Services Director

Laura Rodriguez-Carbone, MPA
Community Outreach Coordinator