Care team for causes of kidney diseases that are unknown

Think of everyone who cares for you as part of your team. Each team member plays a different role in caring for your kidney disease. You are the most important member of your care team, so ask questions and take an active role in your care!


Your nephrologist is your kidney doctor. You will meet with them often to check on your kidney health and to make any changes to your care plan. They will: 

  • Oversee your care plan and help you and your loved ones make treatment decisions 
  • Answer all your questions, such as about your diagnosis, next steps and treatment options 
  • Oversee your treatment, such as dialysis, or care for you before and after a kidney transplant (if you need one) 

Nephrology nurse 

A nephrology nurse, or dialysis nurse, is a nurse who is trained to care for people with kidney disease. You will see nephrology nurses at your kidney doctor's office and the dialysis center, if you get dialysis. Nurses will help coordinate your care by: 

  • Making sure you get all the right tests and procedures 
  • Calling you with lab and test results 
  • Communicating with your kidney doctor and your other care team members 

Nurse practitioner (NP) or physician assistant (PA) 

NPs and PAs are also called advanced practitioners because they have more training in kidney care than a nephrology nurse. They partner with your kidney doctor and can prescribe medicines, order tests and do exams. 

Renal dietitian 

Renal dietitians have special training to know which foods are right for people with kidney disease. To feel and do your best during your treatment, they can help you:  

Genetic counselor 

Your doctor may recommend genetic testing if they suspect your kidney disease is caused by changes in your DNA. Genetic testing looks for changes (mutations or variants) in your DNA, chromosomes and genes. You may then meet with a genetic counselor, who is an expert with special training in genetics and counseling. Your genetic counselor can help you understand the tests and the meaning of your test results. 

Nephrology patient navigator or social worker 

Patient navigators and social workers help you and your loved onescope with kidney disease and all the changes that come with it, such as: 

  • Offer emotional and mental health support, including finding support groups   
  • Help you apply for financial help  
  • Help you get or keephealth insurance 
  • Help you find and enroll in clinical trials 

Dialysis patient care team 

If you need dialysis, learn more about the members of your dialysis patient care team. 

Mental health providers 

Living with kidney disease can take a toll on your mental and emotion health. Mental health providers can help diagnose your mental health condition and provide treatment. Mental health providers include: 

  • Psychologists 
  • Psychiatrists 
  • Social workers 
  • Therapists 
  • Counselors 

Learn more about mental health and kidney disease, and resources to find a mental health provider.