Patient Education

At Rockford Nephrology it is our goal to empower you to learn all you can about your kidney disease. RNA with the help of DaVita would like you to take control of your health by learning how to delay the progression of kidney disease and treatment options that are available to you if your kidneys begin to fail.

If you have questions about your kidney education please call the RNA office at (815) 227-8300 and ask to speak to the Education Coordinator.

FAQ: Why are the educational classes offered at RNA?

ANSWER: The classes are being offered to provide patients all the information they need to know about staying healthy and delaying kidney disease progression. If your kidney disease is more advanced, the class will provide information focused on making treatment option choices (dialysis and transplant).

FAQ: What topics are covered in the classes?

ANSWER: Three types of education classes are offered at the RNA office. We currently offer class for those patients with Stage 3 to 4 kidney disease dedicated to informing patients about how to delay progression thru diet, medication and management as well as the causes of kidney disease. We offer classes for the patient with Stage 4 to 5 kidney disease that will explain what happens as they begin to fail, staging kidney disease and introduce the treatment options available for people with kidney failure. RNA also offers classes for patients about the role of diet with kidney disease as a preparation to seeing our dietitian for medical nutrition therapy.

FAQ: Who teaches the education classes at RNA?

ANSWER: The RNA educator who is a registered nurse, renal dietitian, social worker or advanced practice nurses. These professionals all have a background in the management of kidney disease and dialysis options.

FAQ: What should you expect when you come to class?

ANSWER: You will be greeted by the RNA educator. You and those you bring with will join the class (class size ranges from 5-20) for one to two hours of education in addition to questions and answers. You will receive presentation materials as well as other information to take home.

FAQ: Who should attend the class?

ANSWER: If you have been diagnosed with Stage 3, Stage 4 or Stage 5 chronic kidney disease ( having an eGRF less than 60) you can benefit from the education classes. During these stages it is important to learn all you can be making educated decision about your health.

FAQ: What days and times are the classes offered?

ANSWER: Treatment Options Class
- 2nd Monday of each month at 9:00am
       and 1:00pm at the RNA office
- 2nd Wednesday of each month at 9:30am
       at Beloit Memorial Hospital
- 2nd Tuesday of each month at 9:00am
       at the RNA office
* Individual sessions as needed based on
       patient and family needs

Stage 3 and 4 Chronic Kidney Disease
- 1st Monday of each month at 9:00am
       and 1:00pm at the RNA office
- 1st Tuesday of each month at 9:00am
       at the RNA office
- 2nd Wednesday of every other month
       at 1:00pm at Beloit Memorial Hospital

Role of the Renal Diet
- 3rd Monday of each month at 9:00am
       at the RNA office

Ask your Nephrologist or Nurse Practitioner
about attending one of our sessions.

FAQ: How much does the class cost or will my insurance cover the cost?

ANSWER: The education classes at RNA are free of charge. Insurance plans are not billed for these sessions.

FAQ: What if I have questions about the class before registering?

ANSWER: For more information on the education classes please call the Rockford Nephrology office at (815) 227-8300 and ask to speak to Julie Ling RN, CNN, Education Coordinator for RNA.

Tips for a good Hemodialysis treatment

Control your blood pressure, watch your fluid intake between treatments, plan your meals and diabetes medication around your treatment, bring a blanket or dress a little warmer, and bring a book to read or plan to watch TV during your treatment

Influenza - Just the Facts 2012

Preparing for the flu season involves everyone, especially those of us that are your healthcare providers at RNA and you, as a patient with chronic kidney disease. The flu can be a serious illness and should not be overlooked.

You, Kidney Disease and the Flu

Do you have kidney disease? If so, the flu is more dangerous for you.

  • Kidney disease can weaken your bodyís ability to fight off the flu.
  • The flu can make kidney disease worse.
  • If you have had a kidney transplant, the flu could cause your body to reject your new kidney.

To protect yourself from the flu (influenza), you need to get the flu shot, not the nasal-spray flu vaccine.

Chronic Kidney Disease: A Silent Disease

Presented by James Stim, MD and Bindu Pavithran, MD on September 20, 2012 at Kishwaukee Community Hospital in Dekalb, IL.

Kidney Transplant

Kidney transplant is one type of treatment for kidney failure.  It is not a cure and requires lifelong immunosuppressant medication and follow-up.  This option requires evaluation by a transplant center.

Medical Nutrition Therapy (by Julie Ling)

MNT (Medical Nutrition Therapy) is a complete nutrition counseling service. The registered dietitian provides the patient with the knowledge they need to make healthier nutrition and lifestyle choices to better manage chronic kidney disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Heart Disease and Chronic Kidney Disease (by Julie Ling)

If you have chronic kidney disease, it is important for you to learn all you can about the condition and its complications. By acting early, you can prevent some of the long-term complications of chronic kidney disease such as cardiovascular disease (heart disease).

Patient Education (by Julie Ling)

Education is a very important aspect of treating patients with chronic kidney disease at Rockford Nephrology Associates. Not educating the patient about their treatment plan and providing direction for understanding leaves the patient at risk for having complications related to their chronic kidney disease.

Kidney Failure (by Dr. James Stim)

Kidney failure occurs when the kidneys do not do their job of filtering the blood in a normal manner. This results in build up of waste chemicals in the body as indicated by an increase in BUN and Creatinine in the blood. These chemicals are measured as part of routine chemistry blood tests and are markers of the retention of the many metabolic waste chemicals that the kidneys usually filter out of the blood.

Kidney Function Tests

Every patient that visits Rockford Nephrology Associates will eventually have testing done to help with their treatment and follow-up care. Below we have listed some of the regular tests, and their descriptions, that may be ordered by one of our Nephrologists.

Proteinuria (by Dr. James Stim)

Proteinuria is a defined by the presence of protein in the urine. If proteinuria occurs the most common protein to leak from the blood into the urine is albumin due to its small size.

Anemia and your Kidneys (by Dr. Hugh McHugh)

Do you know what anemia is and how it affects your body?

Hypertension (by Dr. Charles Sweeney)

Learn what hypertension is, along with the risks and what you can do to control it.

Protein Finder

Follow the protein finder to keep track of the amounts of protein in your daily diet.

Potassium Finder

Use the potassium finder to help keep track of the amounts of potassium in your daily diet.

Dialysis Patient Education

It is very important that all patients keep a close tab on their diet. With dialysis patients, any little change in what you eat can make a big difference. Here are a few tips from one of our dieticians on how a dialysis patient can make a difference.

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