What is Peer Mentoring?
A peer mentor empowers fellow patients to move forward with their lives after being diagnosed with ESRD. Peer mentoring provides support and increases the confidence that many new patients need, and offers patients access to someone who has been through the similar experiences and can understand their concerns.
The Role of a Peer Mentor
Peer mentors can have several roles, including:
• Providing information,
• Listening to concerns,
• Sharing experiences,
• Promoting positive behavior,
• Offering encouragement, and
• Relieving anxiety.
Who Should be a Peer Mentor?
• Peer mentors can come from all backgrounds. Mentors should be individuals with positive outlooks on managing kidney disease.
• Individuals who are succeeding at achieving their treatment goals can provide insight to help others successfully manage kidney disease.
What Other Guidelines are there for Peer Mentors?
• Peer mentors should wait for a patient’s consent before approaching them as a mentor.
• Peer mentors should not provide medical advice. If a peer mentor is asked for medical advice, he/she should refer the patient to the dialysis staff or nephrologist.
• If a patient shares a complaint with a peer mentor, the patient should be encouraged to use the facility’s grievance procedure. The dialysis facility social worker serves as a patient advocate and can help with patient complaints.
• Peer mentors should always get permission from the patient before approaching a staff member about a patient’s concerns and/or sharing any information obtained in the role of a peer mentor.
Tools and Resources
Supplemental Transplant Materials:
Treatment Choices Flyer
Is a Kidney Transplant Right for Me? Booklet
Your Life, Your Choice: Transplant Stories Booklet
Get the Facts on Kidney Transplantation Flyer (English I Spanish)
Services Provided by your ESRD Network Flyer
Supplemental Vascular Access Materials:
Vascular Access Planning Guide for Professionals Booklet
Lifeline for a Lifetime: Planning for Your Vascular Access Booklet (English I Spanish)
Questions or Concerns About a Permanent Access? Let’s Talk Booklet
Vascular Access Comparisons: Fistula, Graft, Catheter Flyer (English I Spanish)
It Only Takes a Minute to Save Your Lifeline. Look, Listen Feel Guide Booklet
For more information:
Channel McCain, MSW
Community Outreach Coordinator