Some Nashville public housing residents on dialysis will soon have their treatments delivered to their doorstep.
The first class of technicians trained to provide in-home dialysis graduated last week from a Metro Development and Housing Agency job training program.
The graduation marks a step towards eliminating the long journeys made by patients each week.
About 200 Nashville public housing residents need dialysis three times a week. The procedure, which filters waste from the blood when the kidneys no longer work, is a vital but time-consuming process for patients.
MDHA made a big dent in travel time for patients last year when it partnered with private healthcare provider Sanderling Renal Services to open a dialysis clinic in the Preston Taylor Apartments. But for some, getting to and from the clinic is still an all–day ordeal.
“Not only do they sit in the clinic waiting for a ride for an hour, two hours, [they then] sit in traffic for an hour or two hours," says Kecia Gray, one of the new technicians. "And they’ve already been on the machine for four hours ... so that is an entire day.”
Gray and her two colleagues, all MDHA residents, who graduated last week from the agency's training program at Sanderling Renal Services. They spent the last 18 months learning how to provide dialysis in their patients’ homes, which are currently being retrofitted to accommodate the equipment.
The clinic now employs 14 residents and hopes to grow their staff to as many as 100 in the coming years to meet current demands. Right now, there's a waiting list for new patients.