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Just sixty years ago, organ transplants were nearly unheard of, but now they are considered routine surgical procedures. In order for organ transplants to be performed, an organ transplant procurement coordinator is needed to initiate the process as well as see the patient, organ donator and doctors through the entire organ donation process. Organ transplant procurement coordinators are responsible for referring the patient to the hospital in which the organ transplant surgery will be performed as well as screening and securing an organ donator for the patient; these are their main responsibilities. Once this has been taken care of they will then assist the patient and their doctors through the organ recovery procedure, arrange the transportation of the organ and perform a post-donor follow up.
Organ transplant procurement coordinators often work very hectic schedules and travel all over the world. This position requires that a person be on call twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Once an organ transplant procurement coordinator has been contacted for work they will need to respond quickly and report to the hospital in order to begin screening potential organ donors to see if they are a match to the patient that needs a new organ. Once a match has been confirmed they will begin the hospital referral process, arrange for the organ to be transported, if necessary, and so on until the entire procedure is complete.
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How to Become One
In order to become an organ transplant procurement coordinator a person will need to obtain a bachelors degree in health sciences as well as obtain a RN or RT licensure. Many people who are seeking employment in this field will also need to have experience in a critical care setting where they have had direct contact with patients. Other necessary skills include the ability to make rational decisions under pressure and with little time, strong organizational skills, excellent communication skills and they must also be proficient in problem analysis.
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Career Outlook for This Profession
Being an organ transplant procurement coordinator is certainly not for everyone. It is a demanding and often taxing career. Those who succeed have a high degree of discipline, compassion and drive. The field of organ transplant procurement coordinating is expected to be an in demand field in the next few years and opportunities for employment will be at an all time high for qualified candidates.
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Unknown. (2008). Organ Procurement Transplant Coordinator. Retrieved January 16, 2009 from Midwest Transplant Network. Website: http://www.mwob.org/job_detail.asp?jobID=12