Professional Education

Caring for patients with chronic conditions like CKD is not easy. Providers must communicate tough messages—from giving a kidney disease diagnosis to discussing renal replacement therapy options—that can be difficult both for the patient to hear and for the provider to deliver. Additionally, the numerous, sometimes conflicting guidelines for CKD can make understanding and providing appropriate care challenging. To support professionals working with CKD patients, NKDEP has developed educational resources to enhance provider knowledge and skills around caring for CKD patients, including communication skills modelling videos and training programs for pharmacists, diabetes educators, and registered dietitians.

Communicating Difficult Messages to Patients

Effective communication is an integral part of excellent patient care. It builds trust; improves patient understanding and adherence to medical regimens; may reduce diagnostic testing costs and hospital readmissions; promotes patient and clinician satisfaction; and improves clinical outcomes. It is often assumed that being good at communicating with patients is an inherent skill. On the contrary, these skills can be learned and improved with practice. Learn more about effective patient communication and watch modelling videos that demonstrate these skills.

Supporting Pharmacists in Managing CKD

Pharmacists play a crucial role on the health care team and are critical to improving early detection and slowing the progression of CKD. NKDEP supports a Pharmacy Working Group (PhWG) to increase pharmacists' knowledge of CKD and provide them with the tools and resources to help them educate their patients about the disease. The Working Group has developed a training program to educate pharmacists on how to safely use NSAIDs in high-risk patients. Learn more about the program and the role of pharmacists in managing CKD.

Helping Diabetes Educators Care for CKD Patients

Diabetes educators are critical members of the kidney health care team. Because diabetes is the leading cause of CKD, diabetes educators have a crucial role both in supporting early detection and slowing progression of CKD. Additionally, diabetes educators may have well established relationships with patients when they are diagnosed with kidney disease. These relationships may allow educators to be a trusted source of information and support to patients with diabetic kidney disease. To help prepare diabetes educators to care for patients with kidney disease, NKDEP has developed a four-module training program in partnership with the American Association of Diabetes Educators. Learn more about the CKD Training Program for Diabetes Educators.

CKD and Nutrition

The purpose of medical nutrition therapy (MNT) for chronic kidney disease (CKD) is to maintain good nutritional status, slow progression, and to treat complications.

The key diet components to slowing progression of CKD are:

  • Controlling blood pressure by reducing sodium intake
  • Reducing protein intake, if excessive
  • Managing diabetes

NKDEP has developed medical nutrition therapy training materials for registered dietitians (RDs) and Dietetic Educators. Learn more about the Chronic Kidney Disease Nutrition Management training modules for RDs and the CKD and Nutrition suite of materials for Dietetic Educators.