April 19th is Transplant Nurses Day, hosted by the International Transplant Nurses Society (ITNS)
. Beginning in 2006, this recognition day raises awareness “of the unique contributions transplant nurses make in the lives of the people with whom they work, especially their patients,” and takes place on the third Wednesday in April.
According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
, there are over 119,000 people in the U.S., currently on the national transplant waiting list, and there were “30,970 transplants performed in 2015 – the first year [to exceed] more than 30,000 transplants.” Each day, around “80 people receive organ transplants,” and the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network
reports there were 5,367 transplants performed between January and February 2017.
Transplant nurses and transplant nurse coordinators are a vital part of the organ donation and transplantation process. Transplant nurse coordinators work with patients throughout the process, from evaluation for transplant and getting listed to post-transplant care. Transplant nurses
prepare living donors and inform them of any risks involved in donating. They also care for patients who receive essential organs from living donors, assist the medical team during surgery, manage patients during post-operative care, and monitor for organ rejection.
Without transplant nurses, transplant centers and programs could not function. In celebration, here are some resources related to transplant nursing:
• Organ Donation Collection
– worth 7 contact hours!
• Primary Care Management of the Liver Transplant Patient
• Issues in Organ Procurement, Allocation, and Transplantation
• Core Curriculum for Transplant Nurses
• Immunosuppression in Solid-Organ Transplantation: Essentials and Practical Tips
• A Review of Organ Transplantation: Heart, Lung, Kidney, Liver, and Simultaneous Liver-Kidney
Thank you, transplant nurses, for all that you do!