Oak Brook retired dialysis nurse keeps busy helping others
Asked at the Oak Brook Park District Fitness Center, "What is one thing/issue your village officials should be aware of?" "I feel that the non Oak Brook resident charge for getting a library card at the Oak Brook Library is excessive." Bobbi Kaminski, uni
Updated: January 7, 2013 6:17AM
OAK BROOK — Bobbi Kaminski likes to help people. The 10-year Oak Brook resident is a retired dialysis nurse and has long history of nursing work on her resume. She also has been active in the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois and that organization’s Gift of Life Gala.
The 27th annual Gift of Life Gala on Dec. 1 brought together 400 of the Chicago area’s physicians, surgeons, corporate leaders and philanthropists to celebrate accomplishments within the kidney, organ donation and transplant communities.
Q. You spent much of your career as a dialysis nurse. How did you end up in that specific area of nursing?
A. I had worked in surgery, but decided I was getting bored. I was disillusioned with nursing and decided to be a stay-at-home mom, but when my kids got older I got very bored because I like to stay busy. A friend of mine worked at the West Suburban Kidney Center and told me to let them know if I ever wanted a job, so I decided to go back to work. I started a home training program for people on dialysis and had 200 patients at one point. I also worked for a while at Abbott Labs and traveled around the country as a consultant in dialysis.
Q. Becoming a dialysis nurse brought back your passion for nursing. What was different for you about that aspect of nursing?
A. I love dialysis. When you work with patients in the hospital, you see generally see them for two or three days, but in dialysis you see them much more often, and that gives you the opportunity to really get to know people. I like that closeness with people. I’ve met a lot of wonderful people doing this.
Q. What makes for a good patient?
A. A good patient is compliant with the treatment plan and is someone who asks questions. It’s important for people to do the things that are important for their health. It’s also important for them to ask questions about what’s going on with them and why so they understand better. You don’t want to just sit back.
Q. You had back surgery Nov. 1. Were you a good patient?
A. I don’t remember much about when I was in the hospital because of the drugs I was on. When I was in rehab, they had some student nurses, and I gave a presentation to them. I’ve been doing what I’m supposed to do and have been able to get around some. I taught my water therapy class the other day.
Q. You have attended all but one of the Gift for Life Gala events since it began in 1986. Why are you so passionate about this event and the group that presents it?
A. I’ve been involved with the Kidney Foundation since 1983. Transplant has been very close to my heart, especially because my son received a liver in 2011 and probably wouldn’t be alive now if that had not happened.