Before treatment

In your first year on dialysis, you’ll learn about your treatment, how to fit it into your daily life, and how to adapt to the changes in your life.

Dialysis will become part of your daily routine and you may find that in many ways your life is not so different from before.

Preparation at home

The preparation begins at home and there are a few important things you should consider:

Get some energy in advance:

  • It is advisable to eat something before you leave home as dialysis treatments demand quite a lot of energy from your body.
  • A healthy breakfast is especially important on dialysis days. Here are some proposals for a good start to the day:
    • Scrambled egg on toast: two scrambled eggs with bell pepper and bacon bits on two pieces of toast with margarine.
    • Fresh roll with margarine, jam and curd junket mixed with stewed peaches and sliced almonds.
  • You may want to check with your dietician for more details.

What to bring:

  • Clean, comfortable clothing and shoes. Please note that your vascular access must be easily accessible, so no tight sleeves or jewellery should be worn.
  • Something to pass the time, such as a book, magazine, etc.
  • Sunglasses or eye-covers/sleeping mask if you do not tolerate bright light, because the dialysis room is brightly lit for medical reasons.
  • A small snack to consume during treatment.
  • Please keep the valuables you bring along to a minimum.


You can use this checklist to make sure you do not forget to bring anything to the dialysis centre.

Print it out here.

Remember your NephroCare team will be with you every step of the way. If you have any questions, they will help you. Knowing what to expect can reduce anxiety and prepare you to feel comfortable. 

The exact order of activities may differ between dialysis centres – but generally you will come across the following steps and procedures.

Upon arrival

  • There are a few things you have to do before treatment starts, so please arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled time.
  • Sign in at the reception. You may have to fill out some forms, just as you would at any new medical centre you visit.
  • If you are accompanied by a family member or friend, this person may proceed to the waiting room.
  • On a regular basis, the physician will discuss important aspects of your health and treatment with you.
  • In the changing room you can leave your clothes, footwear and other objects in a locker.
  • Remember to take your locker key with you. You may also want to take something to read with you.
  • Please do not take things you do not need to the treatment room.


  • Wait in the waiting room until you are called by the nurse to enter the dialysis room.
  • Please note that your nurse follows a defined schedule, so it may take a few minutes before it is your turn. 
  • Upon entering the dialysis room, clean your fistula arm with warm water and soap. Dry it with a disposable towel. 
  • There are some short checks to do before the dialysis can start. First you need to measure your body weight.
  • Then the nurse will indicate your designated station and dialysis chair. 

Related topics

During Treatment

Here are some of the things that will happen during the dialysis treatment.