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Nephrology Nurses Week celebrates those dedicated to serving the community

LBJ Medical Center dialysis staff from the west side, along with dialysis administrationLBJ Medical Center dialysis staff from the east side
Source: LBJ Dialysis Center

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA —  To honor the dedicated nephrology nurses who care for patients with kidney disease, the second full week in September each year is designated as Nephrology Nurses Week.

In 2019, Nephrology Nurses Week was celebrated Sept. 8-14. Together with registered nurses and licensed practical nurses, LBJ Dialysis Center took the opportunity to applaud and acknowledge all the staff who so diligently provide care to the residents of the territory with kidney disease.

Their vision, knowledge, skills, and unwavering dedication radiates in the care extended to the patients from 4a.m. when the Dialysis Center opens, to 9p.m., when the last equipment is cleaned and prepared for the next day’s patients.  

The LBJ Dialysis Center is currently the only operating dialysis center in the territory. It opened its doors to patients in October 1980 with 4 hemodialysis chairs, 3 patients, and 3 registered nurses: Etenauga L. Lutu and Penelope Sekio, and Dr. Simpson.

Today, there are 32 hemodialysis chairs and over 170 patients per month. The 35-member dedicated staff under the close supervision of dialysis nursing director Olita Tafiti and facility administrator Savali S. Ulutu consists of registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, patient care technicians, certified clinical hemodialysis technicians and orderlies. 

This is also a perfect time to ignite public interest for residents and students interested in medical careers, to explore prospects in nephrology care. Not indifferent to the nursing shortage, nephrology nurses and certified technicians face extreme deficits in their specialized service area.

The LBJ Dialysis Center’s extensive training program and experience afforded employees has made them an attractive asset for mainlander employment agencies, adding to the already strained staffing issues.

Please take the time to recognize and say THANK YOU to these medical professionals for their commitment to improving the quality of life for residents of American Samoa with renal disease. God bless you all.