Temporary hemodialysis catheter placement by nephrology fellows: implications for nephrology training

Am J Kidney Dis. 2013 Sep;62(3):474-80. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2013.02.380. Epub 2013 May 16.


The insertion of temporary hemodialysis catheters is considered to be a core competency of nephrology fellowship training. Little is known about the adequacy of training for this procedure and the extent to which evidence-based techniques to reduce complications have been adopted. We conducted a web-based survey of Canadian nephrology trainees regarding the insertion of temporary hemodialysis catheters. Responses were received from 45 of 68 (66%) eligible trainees. The median number of temporary hemodialysis catheters inserted during the prior 6 months of training was 5 (IQR, 2-11), with 9 (20%) trainees reporting they had inserted none. More than one-third of respondents indicated that they were not adequately trained to competently insert temporary hemodialysis catheters at both the femoral and internal jugular sites. These findings are relevant to a discussion of the current adequacy of procedural skills training during nephrology fellowship. With respect to temporary hemodialysis catheter placement, there is an opportunity for increased use of simulation-based teaching by training programs. Certain infection control techniques and use of real-time ultrasound should be more widely adopted. Consideration should be given to the establishment of minimum procedural training requirements at the level of both individual training programs and nationwide certification authorities.

Keywords: Central venous catheterization; clinical competence; infection control; medical education; nephrology; temporary hemodialysis catheter; ultrasound.

MeSH terms

  • Canada
  • Catheterization, Central Venous / methods*
  • Health Surveys*
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency / methods*
  • Nephrology / education*
  • Nephrology / methods*
  • Renal Dialysis / methods*
  • Time Factors