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Roles of Our Transplant Program Team Members

Learn about the different roles our transplant team members play in providing care for transplant program patients.

Transplant Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Coordinator

A transplant nurse practitioner, or nurse coordinator, is a licensed registered nurse who has special training in the care of transplant patients. The nurse practitioner or coordinator often has an advanced degree in nursing and is required to receive and maintain certification in this selected specialty. The nurse practitioner or coordinator is responsible for managing all the elements needed during a patient's transplant experience.

As a member of the transplant team, the nurse practitioner or coordinator is often the first person a patient and family encounter who imparts information about the transplant process. They are responsible for pre and post-transplant education and teach patients to care for themselves. When patients have accurate information and learn how to take charge of their own care, the transplant experience is most often successful.

The transplant nurse practitioner or coordinator becomes the "quarterback" of the transplant team. The transplant nurse practitioner puts patients and families in touch with other transplant team members and services to meet all their special needs. They arrange certain tests to determine if a patient and potential donor are compatible, order pre-transplant laboratory testing and other required testing and evaluation, provide education for the patient and family and pre-certify the transplant procedure with an individual's insurance company. The coordinator is responsible for organizing the transplant surgery when a suitable donor is located. Post-operatively, the coordinator oversees post-transplant protocols such as medication regimens and exercise programs.

The nurse practitioner or coordinator helps patients understand their complicated medical regime, and teaches the patient everything he or she needs to know to have a successful transplant experience. The transplant nurse coordinator arranges post-transplant checkups including biopsies and medical or clinic appointments.

Transplant Social Worker

Social workers provide information about Medicare, disability insurance and other potential sources of financial and medication assistance. Perhaps even more important is the much-needed emotional support and counseling they can provide for the patient and family. The social worker can help the patient get organized and ready for discharge from the hospital. The social worker can help the patient sign up for vocational rehab if needed.

Transplant Dietician

The registered clinical dietician can provide individualized information for a dietary program that will meet the needs both before and after transplantation. Nutrition is essential for speed recovery from the transplant surgery as well as giving the patient the best chance for leading a healthy life. After completing a dietary analysis, the dietician will counsel the patient and family on any needed adjustments during the evaluation phase. Patients nutritional statuses will continue to be monitored on an individual basis.

Transplant Financial Coordinator

The financial coordinator will work closely with the transplant coordinator, the patient and the insurance carrier to determine that the transplant is financially approved. The financial coordinator, transplant coordinator and social worker will facilitate referrals to other potential sources of financial assistance.

Psychologist

A transplant is not just a surgery; it is a life-altering experience. Living with a new organ and having a new lease on life may require an incredible amount of inner strength from the patients and their families. It may be very helpful to talk about feelings and any emotional or psychological concerns with the team psychologist. They will work with the patient on ways to cope during the transplant waiting period, operation and follow-up care. Patients may be asked to complete questionnaires that will help determine how they might best adjust or react to stress.

Pharmacist

The patient will be taking many medications both before and after the transplant. The pharmacist will provide information and counseling regarding medicines, their side effects and any potential drug interactions. Baptist has a designated clinical pharmacist who works specifically with the transplant program during your hospitalization.

Exercise Specialist

To promote physical and mental well-being, it is important to continue an exercise program following surgery. The exercise specialists will evaluate the patient's musculoskeletal system and exercise capacity, and make recommendations to increase strength and endurance in preparation for surgery. They will be in touch with the patient's physician and know what limits to set early on and how and when to gradually increase activities. Exercise helps prevent many of the long-term complications that can arise after transplantation.

Chaplain

The transplant experience involves so much more than a patient's medical needs. For many patients and families, the hospital chaplain may meet spiritual needs. Whether patients simply want to speak with someone or wish to pray, read scriptures, or receive sacraments as part of their daily life, the chaplain can help and will respect various religious traditions.

Contact Us

Baptist Transplant Program

Address
6025 Walnut Grove Rd.
Suite 207
Memphis, TN 38120

Phone
901-226-2000

FAX
901-226-2010
Attn: Transplant Services

Directions
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