The Northwest Kidney Council supports patient advocates, healthcare professionals, care providers, and researchers who are deeply committed to shaping informed and effective policies for individuals confronting kidney disease in the Northwest. A crucial aspect of informed policy development is understanding how dialysis clinics function each day.
The NWKC team, in collaboration with legislative staff from neighboring state legislators, organized a visit to a dialysis clinic in Olympia. This tour led to meaningful interactions between NWKC, legislative staff, the dedicated dialysis clinic representatives and the patients they serve.
Before the tour we were able to sit down with multiple staffers from the dialysis clinic and learn more about their day-to-day duties and challenges they face. One thing is clear, on top of dealing with stressful situations these front-line workers are people persons, and they really care about the patients that they serve.
What do you like most about your job?
Allison Sykes, Social Worker:
“I like talking to the patients because you see them all the time. So you're having a relationship, but it also is very satisfying when I can get, get them resources. Like, Okay, you got KDP, you're getting reimbursed for these bills, you know, and that's taking off the string because I see the worry, like how am I going to afford this?.... So it's about, I can reduce the stress for you in an already stressful situation. And that makes me feel really good.”
Brenda McCallon, Certified Clinical Hemodialysis Technician
“I love the relationships I get to build, you know, and the trust that we build within each other… I was in my mid twenties and going through a lot of different things and they (the patients) were just there, and it was really nice, there were some people who were faith based and some just different walks of life. And the relationship definitely strengthens because, you know, they're here three days a week for four plus hours for the most part.”
Rachelle Lusk, Facility Administrator:
“So patients come to me just because they're my friends and, you know, want to hear about my family, our oldest daughter just recently got married. So everybody knew that we were having a wedding at our house and that's why I was gone. And so they wanted to see lots of pictures. They love the vegetables that I bring from our garden for them…”