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Staff trained in preparation for reopening old dialysis unit now under renovation

The LBJ Hospital Dialysis Unit is taking a big step forward in their efforts to be in compliance with US Center for Medicaid Services (CMS), as they aim to have adequately trained staff on board in time for the reopening of the old dialysis unit that’s currently undergoing renovation. Nine Patient Care Technicians and one Registered nurse are to return to the territory following two weeks of theory training held in Honolulu at the Liberty Dialysis Training facility, says Patient Care Director for Dialysis, Olita Tafiti.


Facility Administrator for Dialysis, Amata Taifane told Samoa News after the surprise visit from CMS in December 2015, they approved use of the newly constructed dialysis add on unit. However with the old unit, which is now under renovation, in order for the unit to be opened upon completion, it must have adequately trained staff. According to Taifane, the unit was able to hire nine Patient Care Technicians, two nephrology specialized Registered Nurses and three Medical Support Assistants.


She said the nine Patient Care Technicians are Dora Boat, Tasesa Fuava’a, Ashley Taumua-Mataafa, Florence Moliga, Carrie Ponausuia, Daniel Risati, Joan Sani, Isitolo Semisi, Alofa Togia and the RN is Molesi Fa’atele. She further explained that it’s required for the nine patient care technicians and one RN to attend the dialysis theory training.


“All 10 passed their final exam and received their theory certifications on Friday, February 19. The group will be returning home on tonight’s (Monday night) flight from Honolulu to complete their 2-week clinic training with RN Olita Tafiti, as the preceptor. The second RN, Maria Mills is already a nephrology trained nurse.”


In December, CMS gave the hospital a thumbs up to begin using their new extension to the End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Unit, commonly called the Dialysis unit. However there were some conditions that still needed to be met, according to LBJ’s Chief Executive Officer, Taufete’e John Faumuina.


The conditions included closing the old unit upon opening of the new unit for patient care. He said the old dialysis unit would be closed for renovations, which included upgrading the water system. It then needed approval from CMS to reopen the old unit for patient care. Taufete’e further emphasized the second condition is that adequate staff must be hired and trained and ready to work.


The hospital CEO told Samoa News at the time that due to the high number of local patients they could not accept any more new or transient patients from off island, until the old unit is renovated, staffed and certified for patient use.