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The UCSD Center for Transplantation offers solid organ transplants to qualified patients with end-stage disease requiring kidney transplant (from both living donors and cadaver donors), kidney-pancreas transplant, liver transplant or lung transplant. As an academic center our teams offer standard of care treatment in the specific area of transplantation, as well as cutting edge treatment for end stage disease through tertiary care specialties and clinical trials.
Transplant care at UCSD is based on an interdisciplinary team approach and includes contributions from physicians, social workers, dieticians, pharmacists, financial coordinators, and administrative personnel, in addition to nurses. Transplant nurse coordinators are specialized nurses who facilitate the care and education of our patients and their families from initial contact, through the work-up for transplant and the waiting period, the inpatient stay for the transplant itself, and then lifelong after the surgery for transplant-related care, ensuring continuity of care across the transplant spectrum.
Our inpatient nurses in the intensive care units, the telemetry floors, and medical-surgical units, as well as the Emergency Departments, special procedures areas and the operating suites, work with the transplant teams to ensure state of the art transplant care for hospitalized patients and outpatients at all levels of the transplant journey.
Transplant certification through the American Board of Transplant Certification (www.abtc.net) is encouraged and supported, both for transplant coordinators and other nurses providing care for transplant patients at UCSD. Opportunities to prepare for certification and to broaden and update knowledge and skills in transplant nursing are provided through classes and in-services at UCSD, as well as support for attendance at off-site conferences.
Transplant nurse coordinators act as liaisons to community agencies, physicians, home care agencies and dialysis units, coordinating referrals and follow up of all transplant candidates and recipients. Community outreach includes regular education of dialysis staff and patients about transplantation, participation in monthly patient and family support groups, and community education about transplant and organ donation.
A valid California RN license is required for all positions in transplant nursing at UCSD. Nurses may work in staff roles, as clinical nurse specialists, nurse practitioners, case managers, transplant coordinators, or research nurses. Nurses also work in the transplant quality assurance program. Specific requirements vary between roles, but a strong interest in transplantation is important. Other desirable skills include knowledge about end stage disease and high-technology therapies, the ability to work well as a team member, sensitivity in dealing with emotional and ethical issues, and communication and teaching skills. Certification as a clinical transplant coordinator, procurement transplant coordinator, or a clinical transplant nurse would be desirable.
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