Ask the Doctor
Questions about kidney disease? Risk factors? Signs and symptoms? Are you concerned about yourself, a friend or family member? Ask Dr. Spry.
Good health care is always a team effortespecially for transplant recipients. You and your family are the most important members of the transplant care team. You can take an active role in your care by learning all you can and taking part in your treatment plan. Since each member of the health care staff contributes to your care, it is important for you and your family to work together with them. The rest of the transplant care team includes:
A doctor with advanced training in an area of medicine (e.g., heart, kidney or liver specialists). This doctor will supervise your care before and after your transplant.
These doctors have advanced training in surgery (e.g., heart surgery, liver surgery, abdominal surgery, etc.) The surgeon will meet with you before the transplant surgery to determine, with the help of other members of the medical team, whether transplant is the best treatment for you. The surgeon will speak to you about the risks and benefits of the surgery and answer any questions you may have about the surgery or about the follow-up care.
Clinical transplant coordinators are the patient’s link to the transplant hospital. Many have backgrounds in nursing, social work or other health-related fields. Clinical coordinators facilitate all aspects of the transplantation process. Their responsibilities include: educating patients and families about various treatment options and answering any questions they may have, evaluating living donors and recipients and coordinating post-transplant follow-up.
Your transplant center may have a specially trained pharmacist on staff who will dispense your medications and answer your questions about how to take them.
A social worker who provides emotional and family support and practical suggestions to help you obtain benefits and the care you need at the psychosocial and financial levels.
These individuals evaluate your insurance benefits and assist with any billing and financial questions you may have.
The National Kidney Foundation is also a valuable member of the health care team. Besides supporting research to find a cure for kidney disease, the Foundation is a valuable resource in the community for information about kidney transplantation and its follow-up care, diet and rehabilitation. The Foundation has local affiliates throughout the country that offer a wide variety of programs and services for patients who have kidney transplants. Check your local telephone directory for the office nearest you or call toll free: 800-622-9010.
Transplant Surgeon ____________________________________________________
Transplant Pharmacist __________________________________________________
Transplant Social Worker ________________________________________________
Clinical Transplant Coordinator ___________________________________________
Financial Counselor ____________________________________________________
NKF Affiliate _________________________________________________________
KLS Reviewed 10/2008
If you would like more information, please contact us.
©2013 National Kidney Foundation. All rights reserved. This material does not constitute medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. No one associated with the National Kidney Foundation will answer medical questions via e-mail. Please consult a physician for specific treatment recommendations.