As a result of an autoimmune disease, I’ve had Chronic Kidney Disease since I was in my 20’s. Suddenly in my 60’s, I was diagnosed with End Stage Renal Disease-what a shock! There was minimal education from medical personnel, nor was I directed to any patient support groups. What a blessing it was when I found AAKP. The website was filled with the information I needed, and I eagerly attended my first convention in 2005. It was encouraging to interact with the other attendees who also had kidney disease and were learning how to manage it. With the information gleaned from the AAKP website and from attending these yearly patient meetings, I managed to avoid dialysis for three years until I received a kidney transplant seven years ago.
Why I think it was beneficial for me to attend an AAKP Patient Meeting and why other patients/professionals should attend because:
The annual AAKP National Patient Meeting is the best source of kidney disease focused education covering multiple topics and all presented in one place. It is also the best place I know of for patient and family interaction between various people from all parts of the country. Personally, I have enjoyed every year I have gone, and always look forward to the next meeting.
2. It gives patients that opportunity to discuss with an array of professionals their concerns and their needs.
It is so important for all of us to continually focus on quality of care. The AAKP National Patient Meeting provides that catalyst for all of us to go back to our respective locales and energize other patients to take an active role in their care.
I’ve been attending the annual AAKP Meeting since 2004. The AAKP Meeting provides a great opportunity to meet with, and learn from, individuals with kidney disease. Hearing their experiences and perspective helps me to fully understand the needs and challenges of the renal community, and aids me in the development of effective quality improvement and educational programs.
Attending an AAKP meeting is so beneficial to a patient diagnosed with chronic kidney disease. You receive valuable education on CKD. You are not only able network with other CKD patients and health care professionals in the renal community, but the most important aspect of the AAKP Annual Meeting is that you find out you are not alone! You find out you can manage the disease process–and still live a good quality of life!
I would encourage all dialysis and transplant professionals to attend the AAKP National Patient Meeting! As a certified nephrology social worker, I have attended many kidney disease conferences and meetings throughout the country. However, the AAKP national meeting is the one that can best help me make sure my work is patient and family centered, because the entire emphasis of this meeting is what we can and should do to best help kidney disease patients and their families. It is humbling, inspirational and very helpful to my own professional development to meet patients from across the country and get to hear what is most important and helpful for them. There is no better way to enhance your professional education (and get CEU’s!) than to attend this meeting to improve the care you deliver to kidney patients.