TRANSPLANT CO-ORDINATORS’ TRAINING PROGRAMME
International Scene - Good coordination is central to the success of any transplant programme. The Spanish model has demonstrated that a nationwide coordination system, coupled with favorable legislation can result in at least 42 out of every million donating organs. While medical doctors work as Transplant Coordinators in Spain, registered nurses that are trained and certified Transplant Coordinators are appointed as Transplant Coordinators in US, UK and Canada. However, social workers or public health specialists work as Transplant Co-ordinators in India.
Transplant Coordination in India -During the last 15 years of cadaver organ donation program in India, there has not been a single structured training programme tailored to the needs of Transplant Coordinators. As a result, the organ donation programme has not yielded desirable results. There are very few trained personnel to counsel the families of “brain dead” patients to donate their loved one’s organs. Trained Transplant Coordinators are capable of creating a positive environment for the family by converting their grief to offering something good to others, so that their loved ones continue to “live on”.
As families are unaware about the concept of “brain death”, the trained Transplant Coordinators will be able to explain it in layman’s language, so that their fears are allayed. In addition to counselling, the Transplant Coordinators will be able to coordinate with the recipient hospitals, forensic department, police department, and ensure that organs are retrieved on time and the body handed to the family with respect, and on time. Hence, it becomes imperative for every major hospital to have a trained Transplant Coordinator to augment cadaver organ donations in India.
To address the training needs of this cadre of health care professionals, MOHAN Foundation has started the “Transplant Coordinators’ Training Programme.”
Objectives of the Course
(a) Able to manage the cadaver organ donation procedures effectively and efficiently
(b) Counsel families in their moment of extreme grief .
(c) Able to work as a “positive force” to negate the efforts of scandalous kidney rackets that haunts the country and exploits the poor.
Opportunities for Employment
This course would provide candidate opportunities to be able to seek employment not only in the field of transplants but also in other similar related field of work. The additional skill to the basic qualification would enhance a candidate’s prospect of finding a job in this field by providing them an insight into this complex field.
The Govt of India in its recent gazette entitled THE TRANSPLANTATION OF HUMAN ORGANS RULES, 1995 (GSR NO. 51(E), dr. 4-2-1995)[As amended vide GSR 571(E), dt.31-7-2008] has made transplant coordinator nomination mandatory before a hospital is registered as a transplant hospital. This would mean that any of the 300 hospitals applying for renewal of its license would require having a trained transplant coordinator.
Employment opportunities that a candidate with this course can look for include -
a. Employment opportunities with hospitals undertaking Transplants
b. NGOs working in this field
c. Intensive care units for counselling relatives
d. Pharmaceuticals in the field of transplants
Eligibility for the Course
The course is open to any candidate with any of the following qualifications-
In addition, they would need to possess good communication skills and strong command of local languages and appear for interview with the Course Director.
(a) Sponsored Candidates: The Transplant Centres or any major hospital that intends having trained counselors for implementing programs in different departments may sponsor the candidates.
(b) Other Candidates: Interview with MOHAN Foundation course director.
Duration of training
The training will be imparted for one month, three months
A six month advanced training for select candidates is also proposed in the future with more intensive training in counselling techniques.
One month Induction course
This induction course will have two weeks of theory classes followed by two weeks of work in a dialysis unit/hospital, counselling sessions and field survey on organ donation and transplantation. This course aims to familiarize the trainees with the basics of organ donation and transplantation procedures, counselling and coordination with forensic and police authorities.
Week 1 – Overview, Medico-legal aspects (Transplantation of Human Organs Act )
Week 2 – Medical Concepts
Week 3 – Dialysis unit / hospital placement / Donor family visit
Week 4 1 week– Mini project/ Field survey
Week 5 – Counselling & coordination, Assessment
Registration fee for one month course: Rs.3000
Three months Certificate Course
This certificate course will have 6 weeks of theory classes followed by 6 weeks of work in hospitals. That will include rotation in Intensive care unit, Accident and Emergency units, Ophthalmology and Dialysis units. One week would be spent in Laboratory and outpatients learning about cross match, tissue typing and interaction with end stage organ failure and transplant patients.
Registration fee for Three months course: Rs.10,000
Six months Advanced Certificate Course
This certificate course will have 12 weeks of theory classes followed by 12 weeks of work in counselling and working in hospitals. The course will include rotation in Intensive care unit, Accident and Emergency units, Ophthalmology and Dialysis units. One week would be spent in Laboratory and outpatients learning about cross match, tissue typing and interaction with end organ failure and transplant patients. A project or dissertation will be expected at the end of the term and will be a pre-requisite to getting the certification.
Registration fee for Six months course: Rs.15,000
Exit Competency of Trainees
Exit competency criteria for candidates will include-
3 Months Certificate Course
2 Theory Papers
2. Group Discussion evaluation – actual case scenario discussions
6 Months Advanced Certificate Course –
3. Dissertation on topic related top organ donation – this can be in the form of a project, a Multimedia presentation or a short video.
Expected Course Outcome
Skills the Candidate Should expect after completion of the three months training programming includes -
(a) Making public presentations on organ donation
(b) Network with NGOs in spreading the message of organ donation
(c) Coordinate with hospitals and counsel families to source organs from brain dead donors
(d) Liaising with police and forensic department to actively support organ donation work
At the end of the course the candidate will be able to create a roadmap for initiating the programme in his or her hospital/city/region and work as the key resource person to spearhead transplant related activities by meeting the requirements of the Transplantation of Human Organs Act.
The one month induction course is also expected to yield similar results, however this would largely depend on the candidates previous experience in the field of transplantation and their ongoing involvement with such activities.