As a transplant nurse, you’ll work with patients who are receiving new organs to prepare them for the transplant and provide care during and after the operation.
Transplant nurses’ tasks vary from day to day depending on the patients you’re working with. Some of the duties you might take on include educating patients about the transplant process, preparing the patient’s body for surgery, serving as a scrub nurse or other type of nurse assistant during the surgery, working with nurse anesthetists, managing pain after the operation, monitoring a patient’s vital signs, and tracking process. While the patient is in surgery, you might update the family, and afterward, your tasks could include helping the patient and his or her family learn about home care.
Salary and Career Options
On average, transplant nurses make around $62,000 annually. This amount depends on a number of factors, such as location, your level of education, experience, and type of employer. You might work a certain kind of transplant patient, but in most cases, you’ll work with a variety of patients who are receiving many different kinds of transplants for many different reasons. Before working as a transplant nurse, most nurses gain experience in a field such as surgical, perioperative care, or critical care.
Most facility require you to be at least an RN before you qualify to work as a transplant nurse, so it pays to enter an LPN-to-RN program if you’re interested in this field. You can also go on to get your bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in this field, which will allow you to specialize. The American Board for Transplant Certification offers a voluntary certification program for nurses who have experience in this field and who have graduated from an accredited program.
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