Some might remember back in January of this year Leslie switched careers. She went from being an Intensive Care Social Worker for 13 years at a Vancouver Hospital to an Organ Donation Specialist/In Hospital Organ Donation Coordinator. UPDATE:
After being in training with a preceptor since mid March I have officially graduated and was signed off on Tuesday at BC Transplant as an independent practitioner with a mentor. This seriously has been and still is one of the hardest things I have done career wise. Learning critical care medicine in practice is a whole other ball of wax versus being a social worker and knowing medicine in layman’s terms.
I will always be in training as there is still so much to learn and do in my two roles but to be honest in the beginning I could not see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s my first week on call by myself technically speaking but will always have back up. That is how we do it at BC Transplant. You should never feel alone while doing call and I don’t. Here’s to continue success and a long healthy career with organ donation.
This is not a post to lecture anyone about whether or not you should be a registered organ donor but a post about raising awareness about the need for organ donation, my new career, my latest trip to Toronto to visit Trillium Gift for Life Network and see first hand how Hospital Coordinators perform their role and my visit to Toronto in February. Also, to let you in on how complicated organizing the retrieval and getting organs to the recipients really is in real life. Many people believe once a family consents to organ donation there are these people who show up with coolers to just take the organs. There is wayyyyyyyy more to this!
I won’t bore you with stats either but organs save many lives and long wait lists speak volumes. This is not just for the motorcyclist out there, I hope everyone will read through this post.
****If you take anything away from this post I hope it’s this: Talk about what you would want if something were to happen to you. Meeting organ donation criteria is very difficult even if you want to be a donor but what is even more difficult is watching families struggle with the question, “would he/she want to be a donor?” If you are not registered at least have the conversation with a loved one what your wishes would be in a time when you can not advocate for yourself. I have been with too many families and friends of patients who just did not know the answer because end of life discussions never occurred and by the time they meet someone like me it is too late.****
Let someone know! Can’t hurt to have your last wish become a life saving one.
To learn more about how to register or to become a donor in your area Google it or for BC go to the BC Transplant Home Page or Click here for BC Online Registration
We are working on a new and improved site or in Ontario head to Trillium Gift of Life Network or Click Here for Ontario Online Registration