The International Transplant Nurses Society observes Transplant Nurses Day every third Wednesday in April. It falls on April 19 this year, and this day created in 2006, aims to acknowledge the significant and unique contributions made by nurses to the lives of transplant patients.
The role of the transplant nurse is pivotal as these paramedical care professionals extend immense physical, mental, and emotional support for the patients, both recipients and organ donors, through the transplant procedure. Donating or receiving a vital organ – liver, pancreas, heart, hand, BMT, lung, kidneys, or intestines is a physically and mentally taxing procedure but is a boon to patients suffering from end-stage organ failure. An organ transplant is done to restore the quality of life, better health, and vitality. Its success depends on various factors, including the healthy organ, specialist surgeon, and paramedical staff present during and after the procedure.
The journey to recovery for a transplant patient is usually long, and the first few days in post-operative care after the surgery is immensely crucial for restoring overall wellbeing. That’s when the expertise of a transplant nurse comes in handy, from evaluating each patient’s recovery every minute to doing all it takes to prevent organ rejection. Dr. Gaurav Chaubal - Director – of Liver, Pancreas, Intestine Transplant Program & HPB Surgery, says that working alongside a transplant nurse ensures less stress in the operation theatre and also while monitoring the patient’s condition post-transplant. “It is like a different kind of specialization which they gain over the years, and many a time, their expertise in making quick and right decisions serve as lifesavers. They work with immense focus and have all nitty-gritty details on the back of their hand, and they deserve a huge round of applause,” he says.
Ms. Seema Virkud, Nurse Manager, Transplant Intensive Care Unit
Working as a transplant nurse comes with tremendous responsibility. Not a single day is similar, and the nurses are always on their feet, making the right decisions on the fly – all to heal the patient back to excellent health. There is hardly a moment to sit, relax or even eat, and it is intensely taxing, at an emotional level, to witness patients going through pain. Yet, we all know there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. We take patients under our wings, nurse them with super care and compassion and do all it takes to restore normalcy in their lives. Their smiles and the relief witnessed on their family members’ faces make this job so worth doing!
Mr Suhas Tribhuvan , Renal Transplant Coordinator
The responsibility to usher some courage and make the patient feel mentally strong entirely depends on the nurses. It is usual for the patient to experience a rollercoaster of emotions and anxiety even before getting wheeled into the operation theatre, and we nurses try our best to dispel fears. However, instilling positivity in their thought process is pivotal and contributes significantly to their recovery. And in the process, we, too, experience many positive and negative feelings, but we get over the moment we witness their full recovery. I have seen many transplant patients leading a normal life post-surgery, which makes me feel proud and happy about my job.
On this occasion, Gleneagles Global Hospital, Mumbai salutes all its Transplant nurses and other paramedical staff for their invaluable contribution to the lives of patients, doctors, and everyone.