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The Transplant Team

At the Lourdes Regional Organ Transplantation Center, a multidisciplinary team of specially trained staff supports and guides patients through the transplant process. Throughout the process the team individualizes care to each patient’s needs and provides one-on-one education.

The program takes advantage of a comprehensive pre-transplant team:

– transplant physician.   A transplant surgeon, or transplant nephrologist or hepatologist, performs a complete history and physical on potential transplant candidates, reviews with patients the risks and benefits of transplant surgery and immunosuppressive therapy, provides comparison of dialysis vs. transplant and living donor vs. deceased donor transplants (for kidney transplant patients), discusses the risk of reoccurrence of disease and reviews the candidate’s medical record to formulate a plan for medical testing and consultations to determine candidate suitability.

– nurse practitioner.   The NP collaborates with the multidisciplinary team in the evaluation and maintenance of transplant candidates on the wait list. The NP also functions as an extension of physician services, obtaining history and physicals on candidates in re-evaluation appointments. In addition, the NP will provide education on the benefits of living kidney donation, and risks and benefits of transplant surgery as well as immunosuppressive therapy.

– pre-transplant coordinator.  This coordinator is a registered nurse who assists in   evaluating the patient for transplant and collects health history and health records. The coordinator educates the patient on the pre- and post-transplant process and communicates with the multidisciplinary team to facilitate placing the patient on the wait list. The coordinator manages care, facilitates scheduling and provides support to patients while they are on the wait list.

– social worker.  The transplant social worker meets with patients during the initial evaluation and is involved throughout the transplant process. This team member discusses insurance and prescription coverage with patients and assists them in identifying potential resources to make transplant affordable.   Chronic illness can be stressful and precipitate multiple changes in an individual’s lifestyle. The social worker assists in exploring the impact of illness and resources for support, and collaborates with the patient’s dialysis social worker in the interest of providing the utmost in continuity of care. Some of the other areas addressed during the evaluation are: social support, psycho-social concerns and resources for transportation throughout the transplant process.

– pharmacist.  The transplant pharmacist monitors each patient’s medication list for potential  drug interactions with the prospective post-transplant immunosuppression regimen.   The team pharmacist collaborates with transplant doctors and nurses, to ensure that each patient’s medication regimen is safe and  effective.

– dietitian.  The dietitian working with the transplant team will complete an evaluation to assess the patient’s current food intake, diet compliance, and BMI, and will individualize education and the plan of care in order to optimize the patient’s nutrition status prior to transplant.

– financial coordinator.   The financial coordinator verifies insurance coverage prior to initial evaluation, reviews prescription coverage and available resources, collaborates with the patient’s healthcare insurer and communicates any concerns to the transplant team.

– transplant assistant.  This team member assists in the pre-transplant clinic evaluation appointment, communicates with the patient to coordinate and schedule studies and performs record retrieval.

To contact a member of the center’s pre-transplant team, please call: (856) 796-9370.  

Patients in the program also benefit from a comprehensive post-transplant team:

– transplant physician.   A transplant surgeon, or transplant nephrologist or hepatologist, follows patients post-transplant, performs a medical evaluation at each clinic visit, formulates a plan for any diagnostic testing, evaluates and reviews medical results and makes any necessary adjustments in treatment regimen.

– nurse practitioner. The NP functions as an extension of physician services, assisting in medical evaluation and management of post-transplant recipients.

– post-transplant coordinator.   The post-transplant coordinator educates patients and their loved ones on post-discharge care, including self-monitoring, prescribed medications, the patient’s daily routine, reasons to call the nurse or physician and precautions to be followed. Routine care during clinic visits includes continual medication reconciliation, monitoring of laboratory results and related prescribed treatment, evaluation of daily data collection by patient and coordination of care with other disciplines and physicians.

– social worker. The post-transplant social worker follows recipients to provide ongoing emotional support, address financial issues that may arise, consult on the patient’s social support network, assists the patient with managing the responsibility of the transplant, and help with issues of returning to life, as it was, prior to illness.

– pharmacist.   The transplant pharmacist provides each kidney transplant recipient with education on the medication regimen including immunosuppressive medications and other supportive medications. Each patient’s medication list is monitored for potential  drug interactions and drug-food interactions.   The pharmacist collaborates with transplant doctors and nurses, to ensure that each patient’s medication regimen is safe and  effective.

– dietitian.   After the transplant, the team dietitian meets with the patient in the hospital to provide nutrition counseling.  The dietitian remains available to the patient after discharge to answer questions and provide support as needed to help the individual maintain optimal nutrition status and assist in dietary considerations for healing and health maintenance.

– financial coordinator.   The financial coordinator verifies insurance and prescription coverage and assists in obtaining available resources, provides support with billing issues, collaborates with insurance companies and communicates any concerns with the transplant team.

To contact a member of the post-transplant team, please call: (856) 757-3840.

Who is the living kidney donor team?

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