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Transplant Team Roles

Meet the Dartmouth-Hitchcock (D-H) Transplantation Surgery team, and learn about the roles our caregivers serve in your care experience.

Transplant surgeon

The surgeon is responsible for removing the kidney from the donor and performing the transplant operation. Working with the transplant team, he or she oversees all aspects of your medical care during your hospital stay, and will examine you and monitor all of your laboratory values every day you are in the hospital. In cooperation with the transplant nephrologist and pharmacist, he or she will adjust your immunosuppressive medication before, during, and after surgery. Finally, the transplant surgeon is responsible for identifying and treating any surgical complications which may arise.

Transplant nephrologist

The transplant physician monitors all non-surgical aspects of your care. In cooperation with the transplant surgeon and pharmacist, he or she will adjust your medications after the surgery, while you are in the hospital, and later in the clinic. He or she will monitor your kidney function to identify any problems, including rejection of the donated kidney, and will manage your other medical problems, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, while you are in the hospital.

Transplant coordinator

This licensed, registered nurse is your main contact person before and after the transplant surgery. This includes scheduling evaluation tests, evaluating potential kidney donors, calling you when a kidney becomes available, monitoring the status of the donated kidney and keeping in touch with you after the transplant. The coordinator will also instruct you on how to stay healthy before and after your surgery. This usually involves instructions on diet, medicines, and follow-up appointments.

Dietitian

The dietitian is a licensed, registered clinician with special training in nutrition. He or she will conduct a full nutrition assessment and then create a customized nutrition plan to help you recover quickly, stay healthy, and avoid elevated blood sugars and weight gain after surgery. He or she will also assist you in losing weight before surgery, and managing your diet after the transplant.

Social worker

The social worker will work closely with you and your family to provide support, help cope with the stress of a kidney transplant or donation, and help you address social and emotional problems. Based on your individual needs, the social worker may also work with you to identify beneficial community resources for you and your loved ones.

Financial coordinator

The financial coordinator will verify your insurance coverage for transplantation surgery, including post-transplant medications, and provide estimates of your balances after insurance. The financial coordinator works with the social worker to help you plan for your monthly medication costs after your transplant.

Transplant pharmacist

The transplant pharmacist assists the surgeon and nephrologist in determining the correct immunosuppressive drug and dosage for you. Immediately after your transplant surgery, the pharmacist will help you understand all your new transplant medications. The pharmacist reviews all of your medications to ensure there is no reaction between your regular medications and your transplant medications. There is a pharmacist available in the transplant clinic every day to assist you with your medications.

Specialized floor nurse

This registered nurse cares for you during your hospital stay, and will help you communicate with the other members of the transplant team before and after surgery. Transplant patients are cared for by a dedicated team of nurses who have received extra training in the care of transplant patients. They will assist you in learning your medications and recovering after your transplant.

Surgical house staff

Residents and other house staff will assist the transplant team in your care. Their role is to see and evaluate you every day, assist with documentation, and carry out the plans of the attending transplant surgeon and physician. They will play an integral role during your time in the hospital. However, all final decisions are made by the transplant team doctors.


Page reviewed on: Nov 07, 2018

Page reviewed by: Michael F. Daily, MD, MS, FACS

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