Your transplant team consists of many different people, each having an important role in your health care. Feel free to ask them questions in their specific area of expertise. The list below outlines the team members and their various roles.
One of our transplant surgeons will serve as the primary surgeon during your actual surgery. The transplant surgeons will be your primary doctors the first year after surgery. They will continue to follow your lab results and medications and treat problems associated with your transplant after discharge.
The transplant specialist is a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating patients, evaluating patients for transplant and following patients long-term after transplantation. This doctor, along with the transplant surgeons, will help determine whether you are in need of a transplant or if you can be treated by medical management. If you already have a specialist, any changes in your medication or plan of care will be discussed with him/her. The specialist will continue to care for you both before and after the transplant in collaboration with the other transplant specialists.
The transplant anesthesiologist is a doctor who specializes in the delivery of anesthesia and patient monitoring during the transplant procedure. You will meet him or her just before your transplant.
The transplant coordinators are registered nurses (R.N.) who have specialized training and experience in transplantation. They are responsible for the coordination of your pre-transplant evaluation, patient education, communication with your referring physician and all aspects of follow-up care after transplant.
The social worker is available to patients and families throughout the transplant process. He or she will evaluate your emotional and financial support and provide supportive counseling. He or she will discuss concerns related to lifestyle changes associated with transplant. The social worker can assist you with financial, lodging and transportation needs.
Transplant Financial Counselor
The financial counselor helps potential transplant recipients with financial coverage for transplant and related expenses. He or she will interview you, contact your insurance company regarding coverage, help us provide the appropriate medical information to gain insurance approval and provide you with options for out-of-pocket expenses. The University Hospital is a Medicaid and Medicare approved facility, and the financial counselor can help facilitate your Medicaid application.
A dietitian who specializes in the care of transplant patients will provide you and your family with instructions about special diet needs before and after transplant. During these times, it is important that you understand how to restrict specific nutrients and what foods constitute a healthy diet.
The pharmacist is an expert in the various medications prescribed for you. Whenever you get prescriptions filled, be sure to check them. If they look different than what you have been taking, notify your pharmacist immediately.
A hospital chaplain is also a member of your health care team. The chaplain visits each patient and will assist you and your family/friends in meeting your spiritual needs.
Occupational Therapist / Physical Therapist
Occupational and/or physical therapists will recommend an exercise program to improve your strength, endurance and coordination after transplant. Physical and occupational therapy staff will work with you to regain your strength and your ability and function independently.
Bedside nurses are specially trained in the unique needs and care of organ transplant patients. They are familiar with the medications, side effects and stresses of the transplant process. These nurses routinely care for patients who have received a transplant.
Utilization Review Nurse
Utilization review nurses update insurance companies about your progress and medical needs during your hospital stay. Additional information is sometimes provided by the physicians or coordinators.
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