Educational Materials

Educational Materials Banner

A library of educational materials available to you from the ESRD National Coordinating Center (NCC) and other kidney-related organizations.

Click on the blue links below to view the available resources. Click on the download button next to the item you want to save.  You can save the file to your computer, a USB thumb drive or a DVD.  Once you have saved the file, double click on it to view.

Becoming Active in Your Care

Getting involved in your kidney care may be easier than you think. Learn about the “10 Tips to Help You Become Active in Your Care!”

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10 Tips to Help You Become Active in Your Care!

Better Health

Asking questions can help you get the information you need to understand more about your health.  Review sample questions that can help you start discussions with your kidney care team.

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Better Health

Catheter Check

A hemodialysis catheter is the “bridge” to a long term access — a fistula or a graft.  If you have a hemodialysis catheter, it is important that you check it every day. Learn how to do your daily One Minute Catheter Check.

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Catheter Check – Patients: Complete Guide

Emergency Planning

The Kidney Community Emergency Response (KCER) Program provides technical assistance to End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Networks, kidney organizations, and other groups to ensure timely and efficient disaster preparedness, response, and recovery for the kidney community. Click here to visit the KCER website.

Keeping all of your important medical information and contacts in one place can be very helpful during an emergency.

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Emergency Contact Card

Dialysis patients must take special measures during an emergency.  Review a checklist that can help you plan on how to stay safe in the case of an emergency.

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Emergency Planning Checklist

ESRD Network Services

The ESRD Network program was established by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) responsible for funding Medicare.  There are 18 ESRD Networks in the United States, each under contract with CMS to provide assistance for kidney patients.  Medicare established the Networks to ensure ESRD patients receive the best possible care from their dialysis and/or transplant center.  ESRD Networks work with ESRD patients and providers of ESRD services to improve quality and access to care. Learn more about the services provided by your ESRD Network. Visit the ESRD Network Map to find the ESRD Network that supports the state in which you live and how to contact someone at the Network.

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ESRD Network Services

Filing a Grievance

As you learn to live with kidney failure, you may have to deal with problems along the way.  If you have a problem that you have been unable to resolve with your dialysis treatments or transplant services, you may want to consider filing a grievance. Learn more about what a grievance is, and how to file one.

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Filing a Grievance

Hemodialysis

Hemodialysis cleans your blood through a vascular access, which can be a fistula, graft or catheter. If you have kidney failure, one of these will be your LIFELINE to treatment! Learn more about the different types of lifelines, and talk with your kidney care team to decide which is best for you.


If you and your kidney care team decide that hemodialysis is the best choice for you, you may want to use this “Be Prepared Hemodialysis Checklist” to help you take an active role in having safe treatments.

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Be Prepared Hemodialysis Checklist

Infection Prevention

Understanding what an infection is, how to identify an infection, and how to protect yourself from getting an infection, is an important part of dialysis safety.

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Know the Facts About Infection

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How do you get an infection? What you need to know to protect yourself!

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How can you protect yourself from Infections? Your Infection Prevent Guide

Kidney Transplant

When you find out your kidneys are failing, you may wonder if a kidney transplant is right for you. Read “Get the Facts: Kidney Transplantation,” to learn more about this treatment choice.

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Get the Facts: Kidney Transplantation

 

“Is a Kidney Transplant Right for Me? Your Guide to the Transplant Process,” takes you step by step through what is involved in getting a kidney transplant. It provides answers to questions about being evaluated for a transplant, the transplant team, the surgery, what happens after surgery, and more.

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Is Kidney Transplant Right for Me? Your Guide to the Transplant Process

 

Browse through “Your Life, Your Choice.” This booklet contains real-life stories of kidney transplant recipients and donors, as told in their own words. The stories were created as a way to share positive perspectives on kidney transplant as a treatment choice. The booklet does not provide medical advice or information, but rather a first-hand narrative from the patient’s perspective.

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"Your Life, Your Choice"

My Life, My Dialysis Choice Decision Tool

If you are considering different treatment choices, the “My Life, My Dialysis Choice” Decision Tool can help you to decide which treatment choice may be right for you to discuss with your kidney care team, based on what matters most to you.

New ESRD Patient Orientation Packet (NEPOP)

A cover letter explaining  the contents of the New ESRD Patient Orientation Packet (NEPOP).

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NEPOP Cover Letter - English

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NEPOP Cover Letter - Spanish

Instructions on how to use the CMS online Dialysis Facility Compare tool to find a dialysis facility that meets your specific needs.

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Dialysis Facility Compare - English

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Dialysis Facility Compare - Spanish

Information on how to join the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) organization and receive free information.

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National Kidney Foundation Postcard - English

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National Kidney Foundation Postcard - Spanish

A booklet from CMS describing Medicare services for ESRD patients.

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Medicare Coverage of Kidney Dialysis and Kidney Transplant Services - English

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Medicare Coverage of Kidney Dialysis and Kidney Transplant Services - Spanish

A brochure from CMS explaining services for children with permanent kidney failure.  Please note, this resource is not included in the mailing, but has been made available online as a reference for families with pediatric patients.

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Medicare for Children with ESRD

A booklet from CMS  to help dialysis patients prepare for emergencies.

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Preparing for Emergencies a Guide for People on Dialysis - English

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Preparing for Emergencies a Guide for People on Dialysis - Spanish

Hemodialysis cleans your blood through a vascular access which can be a fistula, graft or catheter. If you and your kidney care team determine that hemodialysis is the right choice for you, one of these will be your LIFELINE to treatment!

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Vascular Access - English

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Vascular Access - Spanish

CMS provides “You Can Live,” a guide for living with kidney failure. The guide includes information on improving your treatments and living a healthier lifestyle. It is available in English and Spanish.

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You Can Live - English

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You Can Live - Spanish

Peer Mentoring

Learn the answers to the most frequently asked peer mentoring questions.

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Peer Mentoring FAQ

 

Learn more about peer mentoring programs and what steps you can take to start a peer mentoring program in your dialysis center.

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Peer Mentoring Guidelines

 

Learn more about what peer mentors do and what their role is at a dialysis center.

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Peer Mentoring Roles

 

Interested in speaking with other patients about kidney care choices? Download and complete the peer mentor recruitment form and give it to a staff member at your dialysis center.

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Peer Mentoring Recruitment Form

Rights & Responsibilities

As a person with kidney failure, you have certain rights and responsibilities.  When you go to a dialysis facility, ask for a copy of your rights and responsibilities.  Learn more about what to expect from your kidney care team and what they can expect from you.

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Patient Rights & Responsibilities

Treatment Choices

There are several treatment choices for you to think about. Whether you are new to dialysis or it has been your treatment choice for some time, you can always ask about changing to another type of dialysis or talk with your kidney care team about a kidney transplant.

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Kidney Failure: What are my treatment choices?

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Consider Your Dialysis Choices: Choosing the right option for you!

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Know the Facts About Home Dialysis Choices

Vascular Access

Access Planning

In order to get started with a vascular access, you will need an access plan to help guide you through the steps. The Access Planning Guide can help you and your kidney care team make this plan together.

Interactive Guide

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Access Planning - Patients

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Access Planning Spanish - Patients

Hemodialysis Fistula Maturity

Ready, Set, Go! Learn more about the steps to catheter freedom and how to check your new Fistula everyday.

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Weeks 1-2: Fistula Daily Check - Patients

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Week 3: Fistula Daily Check - Patients

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Weeks 4-5: Fistula Daily Check - Patients

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Weeks 6-10: Fistula Daily Check - Patients

Hemodialysis Graft Healing

Ready, Set, Go! Learn more about the steps to catheter freedom and how to check your new Graft everyday.

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Week 1: Graft Daily Check - Patients

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Weeks 2-3: Graft Daily Check - Patients

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Week 4: Graft Daily Check - Patients

Access Monitoring

Once you have a vascular access, it is important to check it every day. The Access Monitoring Guide can help you learn the three simple steps to check your access daily.

Interactive Guide

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Access Monitoring – Patient: Complete Guide

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Access Monitoring Spanish – Patient: Complete Guide

If you and your kidney care team choose a fistula as your access type, there are simple Do’s and Don’ts that will help to keep your lifeline healthy.

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How to Keep Your Vascular Access Healthy

It’s normal to have questions or concerns about your access.  Talking with your kidney care team about what’s on your mind is the best way to overcome any challenges you may be facing.  Review some of the common access questions and concerns that you can discuss with your kidney care team.

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Questions or Concerns About a Permanent Access? Let’s Talk!

Videos

Click on the play button in the center of the video you would like to watch. After starting a video, click on the square at the bottom right-hand corner of the video to make it larger.  Press the “Esc” button to return to this page. You can navigate available videos using the arrows on the left and right.