I view myself only in a medical profession - nephrologist
When asked which profession is the most important, everyone will answer differently. But this year Kazakhstanis and people from across the globe have understood especially the momentousness of the most honorable profession. Their work is the most essential, the most difficult, the most responsible, requiring continuous improvement. These are the people who really count, who face the most important challenges - to diagnose, treat and prevent a disease; to ensure preservation and promotion of people's health; to save lives. These people are health workers. Our correspondent interviewed talented young nephrologist working at the “Fresenius Medical Care Kazakhstan” Hemodialysis Center (Kostanay city), Zhandos Demeyev, who told us about his profession, decision to return to his hometown after foreign education and difficulties that stand in the way of his career.
- What exactly compelled you to become a doctor when the question came up to choose a future profession?
- I was interested in everything related to chemistry and biology. In addition to classes at school, I was tutored at home. This allowed me to successfully take part in city and regional academic competitions. I made the final decision to become a doctor in the 9th form. This desire was positively adopted by my family members, because in their early years my grandfather and my father dreamed of being a doctor, and my mother worked in a pharmaceutical company at that time.
- Where did you study?
- Just after leaving my school in 2011 I formally accepted and entered onto the Pavlov First Saint Petersburg State Medical University. In 2017, I successfully graduated from the Department of General Medicine, and in 2019 I completed my studies in medical residency at the Department of Nephrology and Dialysis, having received the specialty of nephrologist.
- Why did you choose to be a nephrologist?
- In the 3rd year of study at the university, I started working at the Research Institute of Nephrology as a nurse man and at that moment I began to pay more attention to nephrology. Having worked there for 3 years, I decided to master this profession by entering residency. At the moment, there is an acute shortage of qualified personnel in the sphere of nephrology.
- What difficulties did you encounter while studying?
- It is obviously any education does not come easily to everybody. As usual, the main difficulties studying at a medical university fall on the first three years of education, when it is necessary to learn the theoretical medical basics. The lack of time to master a large amount of information was the main problem.
- Why did you decide to return to Kostanay after foreign education?
- I always wanted to return to my hometown at the initial stage of my professional career in order to help my fellow countrymen, residents and guests of Kostanay region.
- Is there a shortage of nephrologists in Kazakhstan?
- Of course, such a problem exists.
- How long have you been working in the hemodialysis center?
- Seven months.
- Please tell us about your working day and hemodialysis as a whole?
- Hemodialysis is the most common type of dialysis. This process uses an artificial kidney (hemodialyzer) to remove waste and extra fluid from the blood. The blood is removed from the body and filtered through the artificial kidney. The filtered blood is then returned to the body with the help of a dialysis machine. The hemodialysis procedure is usually performed for at least four hours three times a week.
My work day consists of 2 shifts of the hemodialysis procedure. One such shift accounts for 12 patients, 3 of whom receive treatment in a separate so-called “hepatitis” room for those infected with viral hepatitis.
- Where is the equipment produced in your hemodialysis center?
- The technical equipment of our center is at a high level. All equipment is made in Germany and then it is delivered to our organization.
I can safely say that in terms of technical equipment our center is on a par with the best dialysis centers in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
- What is the percentage of people in the country who need the hemodialysis procedure?
- According to the recent information, worldwide hemodialysis is a predominant type of terminal chronic kidney failure treatment (5-7% of peritoneal dialysis, 10-15% of kidney transplantation). Moreover, the incidence of Kazakhstan's population with chronic kidney disease is 10-12%. The number of patients who need hemodialysis was more than 7000 patients at the beginning of 2019. I’d like to note that the availability of hemodialysis care in the country is growing every year due to early and high-quality detection and increase in the life expectancy of patients undergoing renal replacement therapy. The introduction of early diagnosis, development and implementation of preventive measures can prevent or delay the onset of dialysis.
- What difficulties do you encounter while working?
- There are no serious difficulties, as the whole medical staff works with high dedication. If I have any questions, my senior colleagues represented by a chief doctor and a medical director always come to my aid. I would like to thank them for this particularly.
- How important is your profession?
- The hemodialysis procedure for patients with severe renal pathology is often the only way to live, therefore it is natural that such a profession is quite important today. It should also be understood that hemodialysis is only part of the nephrology section.
- In your opinion, what are the best moments in your work?
- The greatest pleasure for me is the result of our team work, when we eye positive effects in the condition of our patients, when we see their happy faces from the treatment received.
To this I will add the need for continuous improvement of my knowledge not only in the sphere of nephrology, but also in other related medical disciplines. In nephrology, as for any specialty, it is necessary to have prominent clinical thinking, which comes with a wealth of knowledge and experience, and undoubtedly gives a positive result in clinical practice.
- Will your profession be much-needed in the future?
- Of course, yes. To date, there has been an increase in the dynamics of the identification of patients with various kidney pathologies, primarily due to the improvement of diagnostic measures in hospitals of different levels. In this regard, there is an urgent need for qualified personnel - nephrologists.
- Did the pandemic affect your work?
- Today there is not a single patient with a positive test for COVID-19 in our center. This is a great merit of our patients and our staff, since we all try to comply with all the recommendations given by the chief state sanitary doctor, the leadership of Kostanay region to prevent the spread of infection. But at the same time, we are fully equipped with all personal protective equipment and are ready to respond on time to any case.
- If you had the opportunity to choose another profession, which one?
- Tough question. I view myself only in a medical profession.
- What qualities should a doctor have?
- Tenderness, responsibility, compassion, determination, continuous improvement of knowledge.
- What would you recommend to young people who wish to tie their lives with medicine?
- I recommend you to approach this issue with heavy seriousness, making for yourself a truly right choice. Since medicine does not forgive mistakes, you must be prepared for the continuous improvement of your knowledge and skills. Have patience, as the learning process is very time-consuming.
- Zhandos Askhatovich, your wishes on the Health Worker Day.
- First of all, I would like to thank my colleagues for the hard work during this difficult period and wish them success in their work, patience and strength.
- Thank you for the interview!