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Job Spotlight: Cheryl Barton, registered nurse at Davita Dialysis

March 3, 2014  | DaVita in the News
Cheryl Barton wanted to be a pediatrician when she embarked on a health-care career in the late 1970s.

But, as the Hamilton, Ga., resident puts it, God's calling took her in a different direction. An Intensive Care Unit nurse at The Medical Center just after becoming a licensed practical nurse, she spotted a job opening on a bulletin board, applied for it, and entered the world of dialysis."It was interesting. It was evolving," said Barton, 55, now a registered nurse. "Patients had to actually be transported back and forth to Atlanta (in the early days). And the need for dialysis, if you had that, was not generally paid for unless you had private (money)."

Today, the treatment -- be it blood-based hemodialysis at a center or peritoneal dialysis at home -- is covered by insurance companies and Medicare.
And Barton has found a home at the DaVita dialysis center in Phenix City, which will soon move from its longtime location on Old Opelika Road to a state-of-the art center on Riverchase Drive, next to Jack Hughston Memorial Hospital.

She also sees patients at DaVita's dedicated home-dialysis training office at Brookstone Centre in Columbus. Vickie Taylor, group facility administrator for the DaVita centers in and around the Columbus area, said she relies heavily on Barton and her expertise. That will be the case, obviously, when the company breaks in its new center, with 20 dialysis stations, each outfitted with comfortable heated chairs and flat-screen TVs to help patients pass the time during their treatments three days a week, three to five hours at a time.

Dialysis is required when end-stage renal disease, or chronic kidney disease, causes poisonous toxins to build up in a person's blood. A person must receive treatment, have a kidney transplant, or simply wait to die.

Nine out of 10 of those opting for dialysis will choose to have it performed in a center rather than do it themselves at home. "At DaVita .. our name means we give life," said Taylor. "That's one aspect in which we try to encourage our patients. Yes, dialysis is life changing. But you can live and live well on dialysis. We're here to make sure that we give you quality care so you can live well -- have more birthdays, see your daughter get married, see your grandchildren graduate from high school and things like that.
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