The three person team of Darlene Bagnell, Chelsea Coady, and Wendy Ireland provide renal dialysis care at the IWK for children throughout the Maritimes. With such a small team providing services for such a large geographic area, in addition to their regularly scheduled clinic work, they each spend one-third of their lives on call.
“If we are called in on the weekend, we will be here for the duration as we do the clerical, set up, clinical,” Coady says. “There’s never a dull moment!”
The team is very proud of the fact they also added apheresis and red cell exchanges to the unit three years ago.This is a process where the blood is removed from the patient, components separated and useful products re-transfused back. There is only one other combined pediatric dialysis and apheresis unit in Canada.
“In addition to the kidney transplant patients we follow pre/during/post, we also follow home dialysis patients and may get calls from families across the Maritimes,” Ireland says. “It can be stressful and busy, but our personalities work well and we anticipate each other’s needs.”
When asked what attracted them to a role requiring such a high degree of commitment, they don’t hesitate: “The opportunity to learn more and expand upon a skillset is invaluable. We also get to spend a lot of time with patients and families, which is very rewarding.”