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What is a Renal Transplant Coordinator and What are Their Job Responsibilities?
A renal transplant coordinator is typically a registered nurse who walks a patient through their entire renal transplant process. The coordinator is responsible for all of the communication that goes on among the patients, doctors, clinics and hospitals. The first thing a renal transplant coordinator needs to do is to schedule the patient for their pre-transplant testing. Once this has been scheduled, the coordinator will begin the search to locate a donor kidney. They will often locate a few different donors and then they will begin the testing for donor compatibility. Once a compatible donor has been found, the renal transplant coordinator will contact the patient to schedule the renal transplant surgery. Once the renal transplant surgery has been performed, the coordinator will arrange the necessary follow-up care for the patient as well as assist the patient with follow-up care.
The follow-up care responsibilities that are performed by renal transplant coordinators seem to be the most time consuming of all of their responsibilities. The first thing that they will take care of is educating the transplant patient on how they need to take care of themselves after the surgery has been done. They will teach the patient how to properly take their medications as well as help the patient understand their medications. They will help the patient keep up with their post-surgical doctors visits and they may even assist the patient in getting to all of their post-surgical doctor visits. Many renal transplant coordinators will also help the patient find and join support groups to help them cope with their renal transplant and any emotions stemming from it.
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What Are the Qualifications and Skills are Needed to Become a Renal Transplant Coordinator?
A renal transplant coordinator will need to be a registered nurse and possess a bachelor's degree in health sciences (or an equivalent degree) in order to begin their career. They may also need critical care experience in which they were directly involved with patients, but this will depend on the particular hospital or clinic that they are seeking to be employed with. Strong communication, organizational and problem solving skills as well as a strong emotional sense are also beneficial and often necessary.
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Career Outlook and Advice for Renal Transplant Coordinators
Renal transplants are one of the most common organ transplant procedures performed in the United States, so there is always a need for qualified renal transplant coordinators. Those who possess the right education, skills and experience will be in demand in this field. Recent graduates who are aspiring to become a renal transplant coordinator may also benefit from an internship in this field because it will give them a leg up on the competition as well as some valuable experience.
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Author unknown. (2008). The Transplant Team. Retrieved on January 17, 2009 from USC Kidney Transplant Program. Website: http://www.usckidneytransplant.org/patientguide/transplantteam-coordinator.html
Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford. (2011). The Kidney Transplant Program Team - Who They Are, Whay They Do. Retrieved on April1, 2011 from Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford: http://www.lpch.org/clinicalSpecialtiesServices/COE/Transplant/KidneyTransplant/team.html
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Doctor: sxc.hu - Kurhan