Dialysis in a Center

For some people, the best treatment option is to receive hemodialysis in one of our centers.

Why choose in-center hemodialysis?

For some, it’s more convenient than setting up dialysis treatment at home.

Trained nurses and technicians ensure each treatment goes smoothly.

With 20 centers across the Puget Sound region, it’s possible to fit in-center dialysis around busy work or school schedules. Our clinics are open every day of the year except Christmas Day.


If you aren’t sure whether to choose in-center or home dialysis, come to our free Choices class to learn about treatment options or speak with your doctor.


Getting ready

Before you begin in-center hemodialysis treatments, you’ll need to:

  • Get a hemodialysis access. The best type of access is a fistula. Your kidney doctor will refer you to a surgeon for a small outpatient surgery on your arm. A surgeon joins a vein and an artery together inside your arm (nothing will be sticking outside of your arm). A fistula takes six to eight weeks to grow until the vessel is big enough to allow us to connect you to a dialysis machine to clean your blood.
  • Plan transportation to and from treatment. If you drive before starting dialysis, then you can continue to do so once you have started treatment. When you first start dialysis, you may feel weak or a little unsteady after treatments. It is best to have someone pick you up after dialysis for the first week. After that, you may resume driving as you feel able. Speak to your social worker if you need help getting a ride to or from dialysis or have other transportation questions or concerns.


What to expect

A typical in-center hemodialysis treatment will go like this:

  • Come early. Arrive early to your first treatment to sign treatment consents and get answers to your questions before treatment starts.
  • Get set up. As you get situated in one of our comfortable recliners, a nurse or technician will connect you to a dialysis machine that pumps your blood through a filter, known as a “dialyzer.”
  • Start dialyzing. For about four hours, the machine will pump your blood and filter out waste.
  • Pass the time. You’re free to sleep, watch TV, work on your laptop (we also have laptops available), read a book or chat with a friend as you dialyze. TVs and free Wi-Fi are available in each of our centers.
  • Receive ongoing support. Your nurse care manager, dietitian and social worker will be able to give advice, education and offer support whenever you need it.

Your in-center dialysis routine

  • Three days a week

You can choose either a Monday/Wednesday/Friday schedule or a Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday-or-Sunday schedule, as space allows.


  • Early morning, midday or evening appointments

We offer three different shifts so that you can get treatment at a time that works best for you. Your chosen dialysis time will be the same for each of your treatment days.


  • Around four hours per treatment

Each dialysis treatment takes an average of four hours, but it will depend on what your body needs. We also ask that you arrive 30 minutes before each treatment.


Busy schedule? That’s OK. We’ll help you fit your treatments around work, school or any other commitments you may have.

What to bring

After a couple weeks of treatment, you will have discovered what helps keep you comfortable and
entertained in the dialysis chair. Here are some ideas for what to bring with you:

  • Pillow
  • Blanket
  • Friend or family member
  • Headphones
  • Light snacks
  • Warm, comfy clothes
  • Book or e-reader
  • Portable music player
  • Laptop or tablet

Your local dialysis clinic

We’re committed to providing the best local dialysis treatment to people in the greater Seattle area. Our network continues to grow, with 20 dialysis clinics across the region.

Find a Northwest Kidney Centers facility near you

Dialysis at home

When we say “in-center dialysis,” we’re referring to hemodialysis treatment in a clinic. With self-dialysis at home, you may choose peritoneal dialysis or hemodialysis.

Depending on your schedule, health needs and general preferences, you might prefer home dialysis over in-center treatment. Do your research on both before making a decision. Our free Choices class explains the possibilities. Sign up for it by phoning 206-292-2771, ext. 1082.

Find out more about home dialysis

Harry Stevens with his daughter, Alexandria Stevens