The Role of the Recovery Services Coordinator

Cindy Morphew-Magie, Alison B. Smith

Interviewing/Hiring 148

Training 149

Referral Process 149

Evaluation Process 150

Consent 151

Medical/Social History 151

Medical Examiner Release 152

Saying Good-Bye 152

Donor Management 153

UNOS 153

Organ Placement 154

Organ Allocation 155

Operating Room 156

Arranging Transportation 157

Marketing Department 157

Donor Family Follow-Up 157

Other Job Duties 158

Conclusion 158

Searching for employees to fulfill the role of Recovery services coordinator (RSC) is a challenge. The recovery services staff maintains specialized knowledge and abilities through intense training, enhanced clinical and technical expertise, and continued education.

The RSC is available 24 hours a day for telephone consultation, donor screening, on-site evaluation, medical assessment, and family approach. During this evaluation/consent phase, the RSC determines whether organ and tissue donation is an option that the family can consider. If so, the RSC compassionately provides the family with the information necessary to make a fully informed decision. Once consent is obtained from the next-of- kin, the RSC obtains pertinent information regarding the donor's past medical and social history.

The RSC then initiates a complex process of optimizing the number and viability of organs and tissues available for transplantation. During this donor management phase, specialized protocols are instituted to achieve optimal organ function. This process involves laboratory studies, physician consults, and other diagnostic services available at the donor hospital. The information obtained is used

Organ Procurement and Preservation, edited by Goran B. Klintmalm and Marlon F. Levy. © 1999 Landes Bioscience by transplant physicians/surgeons to determine if the available organs are suitable for their patients.

The organ placement phase begins as a computerized printout is generated, ranking potential recipients based on medical urgency and waiting time. Organs are placed through detailed communication with each potential recipient's physician. Once all available organs are placed, the RSC's focus turns to coordinating the surgical recovery. This involves arranging transportation, gathering medical supplies, and preparing the operating room and the OR staff, while constantly updating all parties involved. The surgical procedure involves preservation of organs using protocols specific to each transplanting center. Often with multi-organ donors, two or more RSCs are required to provide the highest level of service to both the donor hospital and the transplant teams.

The RSC is committed to educating each individual involved about how the donor process works and the positive results of organ donation. Explaining the rationale behind each step creates a higher level of participation, cooperation and support. Follow up to each donor referral is also essential in providing service to hospitals; the RSC facilitates that follow up and identifies further educational needs.

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