The organ donation specialist nurse
When organ and tissue donation is being considered, a team of donation and transplant specialists are called in. The specialist nurse (or donor co-ordinator) is crucial in the organ donation process and was introduced to families when they were deciding whether to consent to organ donation. S/he answered as many of their questions about the process as possible and sometimes helped explain it to young children.
Most donor families we interviewed praised the information and support they’d been given by the specialist nurse while their relative was still in intensive care and after he or she had died. This included information on organ donation itself and where to find more support (see ‘Support and where to find help’). They also appreciated that the specialist nurse had a difficult, challenging job dealing daily with distressed or grieving families.