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 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
- 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 in 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
For questions or more information, please contact us:
IPRO ESRD Network of the South Atlantic
Network 6 (GA, NC, SC)
909 Aviation Parkway, Suite 300
Morrisville, NC 27560
Main Phone: 919-463-4500
Toll-Free Patient Line: 800-524-7139
Peer Mentoring Recorded Calls
What is E-University?
The IPRO End-Stage Renal Disease Network Program E-University is an online learning system that provides ESRD training for patients and professionals that align with the ESRD Network and CMS quality improvement goals. Once you have created a user account, you will be able to take training courses, download supporting materials, and obtain a certificate of completion. Visit the website to get started. To learn more, review the E-University Reference Guide.
Mentoring to Support Choices & Talking Effectively with Another Patient
When your kidneys stop working there are many choices to make. As a patient, being involved in making those choices is the number one way that you can live a better life. Your role as a peer mentor is to inform patients and help them better understand some of the important choices they will have to make.
Being a peer mentor can be one of the most rewarding roles you can have as a kidney patient. This educational presentation reviews some of the basic tips and guidelines to follow to help you become a good peer mentor. This module includes information on communication skills, medical confidentiality, and how to succeed in your role.
- Getting the Conversation Started Brochure
Discussing Transplant as an Option
Think about your experience when your kidneys stopped working. Did you understand all the treatment options that were available? Was a kidney transplant something you learned about? As a peer mentor, you can help support your facility in an additional way of sharing information about this important option. In this module, you will review educational tools that will help you share information with other patients so they understand that a transplant is an option for them. You will also be coached on how to help encourage your mentees if they chose to take the next steps and learn more about this option.
Discussing Home Dialysis as an Option
Think about your experience when you first began dialysis as a new kidney patient. Did you understand all the treatment options that were available? Was home dialysis something you learned about? As a peer mentor, you can help support your facility in an additional way of sharing information about this important option. You will review educational tools that will help you share information with mentees so they understand that there are other available options for performing treatments at home. You will also be coached on how to help encourage your mentees if they choose to take the next steps and learn more about this option.
Helping Mentees Plan for Vascular Access
Most patients start dialysis with a catheter. Catheters are risky because germs can go through the catheter and get into your blood. In most cases, the catheter is short term access or “bridge” to a fistula or graft, both of which are safer choices. Your work as a peer mentor will be to make sure patients with a catheter are aware of the steps it takes to get a fistula or graft, so they can be an active part of their care team in making a plan for access. You will also learn to talk to those patients who have concerns about a fistula or graft to help their understanding and reduce fears they may have about the process.