What to Expect: Nephrology Department
Partnering with kids and teens as they grow
In addition to professional partnerships, our team takes pride in truly getting to know the children and families in our care. Those close relationships, along with extensive, hands-on education and training, allow families to develop a comprehensive understanding of their child’s condition and how to care for them.
As kids reach the age of 12, the team starts to work with them on learning how to manage their own care and preparing for greater independence as adults.
The Nephrology Transition to Adulthood program helps teens with kidney disease learn to manage their medications, doctor’s appointments, and lifestyle in order to stay healthy and avoid complications down the line. When young adults are ready to transition their care to an adult provider, they can meet with their Children’s Mercy doctor and the new doctor together so that everyone feels comfortable and knowledgeable about the care plan.
Parents speak…we listen
Strong family involvement also helps shape the day-to-day care kids receive at Children’s Mercy. A parental advisory board meets regularly to provide feedback to the nephrology team, who then works to incorporate their ideas into better ways to help families feel at home and comfortable while they’re receiving care.
Dr. Warady credits the extremely low infection and complication rates for our kidney program to the dedicated nursing staff, exceptional family education programs, and highly engaged parents and families.
Thinking towards the future
When your child is diagnosed with a significant illness, it can be hard to think past the needs of the present moment. Our nephrology team helps your child get the kidney care they need right now, while also working towards better outcomes as they grow.
One common problem for kids who need dialysis for a long time is damage to their veins where they are connected to the dialysis machine, a process known as vascular access.
The Save the Vein program helps all your child’s health care providers to take a proactive approach to vascular access. We’ll use a special wristband at every visit so that veins in your child’s non-dominant arm are protected for future treatment.
Working together, we can come up with answers to questions much faster. This allows us to implement changes to children much more rapidly and improve their care.