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Who is part of a kidney transplant team?

Good health care is always a team effort -- especially for people having a kidney transplant. You and your family are the most important members of the kidney 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 healthcare 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:
  • Transplant physician. This is a doctor with advanced training in a certain area of medicine, such as a kidney, heart or liver specialist. This doctor will supervise your care before and after your transplant.
  • Transplant surgeon. This doctor has advanced training in surgery (such as kidney surgery, heart surgery, liver surgery and abdominal surgery). 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 coordinator. This coordinator is your link to the transplant hospital. Many have a background in nursing, social work or other health-related fields. A clinical  transplant coordinator helps the transplantation process go smoothly. His or her responsibilities include educating people and families about various treatment options and answering any questions they may have, evaluating living donors and recipients and coordinating post-transplant follow-up care.
  • Transplant pharmacist. 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.
  • Transplant social worker. This is a social worker who provides emotional and family support, as well as practical suggestions to help you obtain medical benefits and work out the financial issues involved in your transplant.
  • Financial counselor. This person evaluates your insurance benefits and helps with any billing and financial questions you may have.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.