is the study and treatment of kidney disease. Doctors, nurses and
technicians all specialize in treating patients with kidney disorders.
Nephrologists treat patients with kidney disorders and manage
transplant protocols in hospitals and for transplant networks. They
also manage dialysis centers and programs. Like other specialists,
these doctors serve an additional residency in their field, beyond the
standard training for a general practitioner. Because kidney disease
affects the entire body, a nephrologist must also have a good grasp on
other aspects of internal medicine, and how renal failure can cause
other body systems to fail.
disorders may be caused by congenital defects, by disease or by
lifestyle. Nephrology deals with all these disorders, regardless of
their origin. The field even specializes into pediatric nephrology,
which deals exclusively with kidney disease or disorders in children.
have attempted to treat kidney diseases for centuries, but like many
other medical conditions, it has only been in the past 75-100 years
that any real headway has been made in treating these diseases. New
technologies for diagnosing kidney disease, new treatments and
medications have all enabled the nephrologist to treat his or her
patients with a greater degree of success.
and technicians are an integral part of the nephrology field, as well.
These medical professionals are often trained in administering
hemodialysis and teaching patients how to perform peritoneal dialysis.
They may also be a front-line team for helping spot complications
before they become life-threatening.