Many Americans are finding that they need to deal with chronic health issues as they age, including an increasing number of patients needing dialysis to help augment their kidney function. Skilled nurses are needed to help care for these patients who undergo regular dialysis treatment, be that in their home or in a health care provider setting. Deborah Heinrich of Satellite Healthcare talks about her career in nursing.

(Photo Courtesy of Deborah Heinrich)

(Photo Courtesy of Deborah Heinrich)

What degree program did you study?

“Registered Nurse, ADN.”

What does your current job entail?

“My current role involves oversight of two home programs (CAPD and CCPD) and three in-center programs in Austin and Houston, Texas. This includes nearly 100 staff members and 400 of the 800 patients on dialysis in the Satellite market in Texas. I also am responsible for regulatory oversight in regards to Texas and CMS rules for the ESRD centers. Selecting candidates to care for our patients is also an important role of my job. Community service is something that I take very seriously. I participate in many of the local events for our patients and staff. These include NKF, Texas Emergency Coalition, American Nephrology Nurses Association, and Kidney Alliance of Texas.”

Do you feel your education prepared you for your current role? 

“My education has prepared me for my current role regarding health care knowledge, management, promoting staff teamwork and stewardship of my time with others to help promote kidney disease awareness.”

Have you participated in any form of continuing education?

“Yes, in the last 18 years of my dialysis career I have participated in continuing education as required for nursing licensure, in addition I also participate in local and national programs through the Annual Dialysis Conference, National Kidney Foundation, and American Nephrology Nurses Association.”

Do you have any advice for people wanting to pursue a similar career?

“Yes. Never give up on your dreams – pursue the education degree plans needed to make them come true.”

Gillian Kruse is a freelance writer living in Houston. She graduated from Rice University with a great love for all performing and visual arts. She enjoys writing about arts and cultural events, especially little-known ones, to help Houstonians learn about what’s going on in their city. Her work can be found at