Frequently Asked Questions
12. What health care professionals can I see for kidney disease?
Below is a description of different types of health care providers you may see and the role that they play in your treatment.
- Primary Care Provider. (Doctor, nurse practitioner, physician assistant) – The primary care provider is the person you see for routine medical visits, including management of chronic (ongoing) conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
- Nephrologist. A nephrologist is a doctor who is a kidney specialist. You may be referred to a nephrologist if you have a complicated case of kidney disease, your kidney disease is progressing quickly, or your kidney disease is at an advanced stage.
- Registered Dietitian. A dietitian is a food and nutrition expert who teaches people how to change what they eat for any number of conditions.
- Nurse. A nurse may help with your treatment and is likely to teach you about kidney disease monitoring and treatment, as well as self-management for one or more of your conditions.
- Diabetes Educator. A diabetes educator is an expert at helping people with diabetes gain knowledge and self-management skills needed to take care of themselves and their diabetes.
- Pharmacist. A pharmacist is trained to prepare, distribute, and educate patients about medicines.
- Renal Social Worker. A renal social worker may work for a chronic kidney disease management program or in a dialysis center. A renal social worker's job is to help people (and their families) deal with the life changes that come with having kidney disease and kidney failure.