Transplantation Nursing

Transplant nursing is a specialty that involves taking care of patients in need of organ transplants as well as organ and tissue donors. The care provided by a transplant nurse spans from pre-op to post op. Some transplant nurses even take care of post-transplant patients who are suffering from organ rejection. Transplant nurses may specialize in pre and post operative units. Some of them work as transplant nurses in the operating room. Others specialize in organ procurement and transportation. As long as the nurse’s role involves the transfer of an organ or a body part, it is referred to as transplant nursing.

Roles of a Transplant Nurse

The transplant nurse performs several roles. He/she may work as direct caregivers assisting and caring for the patient pre and post transplantation. They may also have to take on a counselor’s role. These nurses may have to deal with patients who are facing fear, anxiety and uncertainty about the procedures that they are facing. Transplant nurses also deal with the patient’s families. It may be the transplant nurse’s role to refer the patient or the family member to support groups.

Transplant nurses are also the ones who see to it that patients get the right immunosuppressant medication as ordered by the attending physician. These nurses must be vigilant. They must able to report even the slightest spike in their patient’s temperature. Transplant nurses aren’t dealing with ordinary patients. For transplant patients, the simple cold can turn into the life and death struggle.

Transplant nurses are also the best patient advocates. Patients may voice out their concern to their nurses more than they do their doctors. In cases like these, it is important for transplant nurses to be able to effectively convey the patient’s concerns to other member s of the health team.


The transplant nurse will most likely end up caring for patients with the following diagnoses: hepatic diseases like hepatic cancer, liver cirrhosis, etc. They also deal on patients with end stage renal failure in need of kidney transplants, cardiac patients, and patients suffering from cancers, burn victims in need of skin grafts, trauma victims and more.

Work Opportunities for a Transplant Nurse

There are a lot of work opportunities for transplant nurses. They may work in operating rooms or in special transplant units. Some nurses may even have the chance to assist physicians in organ procurement and delivery. Other transplant nurses who choose to focus their attention on recovering patients may work in outpatient and ambulatory units.

Transplant nurses who have become Clinical Specialists may also work in research facilities that focus on improving transplant care. These nurses may also find employment with trauma units that constantly deal with severely injured patients in need of emergency transplantation.



 Published at: 12/07/2015