5 Roles of an Organ Procurement Coordinator

Jul 18, 2023 | Organ Procurement

There are many moving parts to the organ donation and transplantation process. An organ procurement coordinator is there to help donors’ families and patients waiting for transplants through every step of the journey. 

Healthcare professionals play a vital role in successful patient recovery. Some patients may need specialized care, such as those on the waiting list for organ transplants. 

An organ procurement coordinator helps these patients and their loved ones by organizing appointments, providing education, and offering support through the organ transplant process.

What Is an Organ Procurement Coordinator?

Think of organ procurement coordinators as the link between donors, medical teams, and patients waiting for transplants. 

An organ procurement coordinator works closely with health professionals to identify potential organ donors and match donations with patients in need. Typically employed through an organ procurement organization, coordinators take on many roles for donors, patients, and their loved ones.

The Role of Organ Procurement Coordinators

Being on the waiting list for transplants is a very emotional time for patients and their families. A person has a chance at life-saving medicine if a match can be identified. That means organ procurement coordinators must work diligently to facilitate the organ donation process.

A coordinator takes on many roles in organ donation, including:

1. Assessment 

Organ procurement coordinators determine if a person is eligible for organ donation based on medical criteria and other factors. Together with the deceased person’s medical team, the coordinator determines the viability of organs for transplantation.

2. Communication

Coordinators reach out to the donor’s family to discuss options for organ donation and offer information about the process. This is a sensitive yet important step because the family may need to give consent for donation. If the family has questions or concerns, the coordinator is there to listen and offer reassurance. 

3. Coordination

Organ procurement coordinators work with health professionals, such as nurses, physicians, and surgeons, to ensure a smooth organ recovery process. The coordinator may also organize the following: 

  • Operation room scheduling
  • Transportation
  • Necessary testing

4. Advocacy

Coordinators advocate for the best interest of donors and their families and patients on the waiting list for transplants. When allocating organs to recipients, coordinators take into consideration medical urgency, compatibility, and waiting list criteria.

5. Support

Counseling and emotional support are key roles for the organ procurement coordinator. During this sensitive time, a coordinator helps the donor’s family cope with loss and reminds them of the incredible impact of their loved one’s donation. 

A coordinator may also offer education to the public about the importance of organ donation to promote understanding and increase donor registrations.

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