The nurse in hemodyalisis between medical technologies, taking charge and burn-out

  • Erica Eugeni Università di Roma “Sapienza”, Italy


The changed epidemiological landscape in Western countries, characterized by an increase in chronic diseases, shapes differently the role of health professionals and patients, as well as their relationships. This paper, which arises from a fieldwork carried out in 2005 in a haemodialysis ward in Rome, aims to reflect on the role of nurses and on their relationships with patients suffering from chronic kidney failure undergoing haemodialysis.Haemodialysis is a weekly medical treatment that requires patients to spend long time in hospital, as their survival relies on the machine that carries out the kidney functions. This medical treatment promotes the creation of relationships different from the usual ones between nurses and patients. In many cases, those relationships do not end up in the administration of a single therapy, but they last and, sometimes, are strengthened over time, often resulting in emotional involvement for professionals, alien to the therapeutic biomedical model.The paper reflects on how the relationship with the technology in the haemodialysis ward influences the way the nurses think about their own role; moreover, it deals with the concrete patient-nurse relationship observed in this particular context. Finally, it thinks over some of the problems that the nurses face in the current epidemiological and demographic landscape.
How to Cite
Eugeni, E. (2015) “The nurse in hemodyalisis between medical technologies, taking charge and burn-out”, Anuac, 3(1), pp. 20-37. doi: 10.7340/anuac2239-625X-148.