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At age 15, Anne Diroll lay in a hospital bed after being struck by a car at a pedestrian crosswalk in her native South Africa. Severely injured and confined to the bed, Anne was mesmerized by the dedication of her nurses as they bustled around checking her IV fluids, recording her heart rate, and adjusting her bandages.
Though Anne made a full recovery, the accident and the care she received would change the course of her life.
Two years after she was released from the hospital, Anne enrolled in nursing school at Addington Hospital in Durban, completing her degree at BG Alexander College of Nursing in Johannesburg, before eventually moving to the United States to begin working with dialysis patients.
“Nursing is a calling, not a job,” Anne said. “I want to give everybody the best life possible.”
Anne, now 63, is a clinic manager at a Fresenius Kidney Care center in Rocklin, Calif., taking care of 50 patients living with kidney disease who rely on life-sustaining dialysis. Due to the nature of dialysis treatments, nephrology nurses, like Anne, spend dedicated one-on-one time with patients. True to Fresenius Kidney Care’s mission, Anne believes providing personalized, compassionate care is essential to being a good nephrology nurse.
“Nephrology nursing is extremely specialized, but at the same time you see your patients three days a week and get to know their entire lives,” Anne said. “Nursing allows you to take care of the whole person, understanding their ups and downs, hopes, heartaches, and dreams, acting as both an encourager and an educator.”
Like the nurses who inspired her, Anne is dedicated to providing superior care to patients. In May 2019, The Council of Nephrology Nurses and Technicians named her the first recipient of the Carrol Mattix Award, which honors excellence in clinical care and finding novel ways to improve the lives of patients.
“Anne is an extremely dedicated and caring nurse, always going above and beyond to make sure the patients receive the best care possible,” said Regional Vice President Eric Anderson. “You can tell when you walk into her clinic that everyone is in aligned with what great patient care should look like.”
Anne says the biggest lesson in her four decades of nursing is that the profession is both an art and a science. Aside from the fulfilling work to make her patients feel their best, she feels like she is part of their extended family.
Fresenius Kidney Care celebrates Anne and all nephrology nurses this Nephrology Nurses Week and thanks them for their commitment to delivering excellent care to people living with kidney disease.
Learn more about Anne and her work to help patients manage their fluids on this Renal Support Network KidneyTalk podcast.