Organ donation is an issue that people are often asked to think about; in particular the importance of knowing whether their loved ones agree to have their organs donated in the unfortunate event of their death.
It is also an important issue for the medical profession, including nurses and social workers, who are usually those talking to families during this difficult time.
Western NSW Local Health District Donation Specialist Sonia Braithwaite, said a workshop at Orange Health Service will assist Intensive Care, Emergency Department and Operating Room nurses, social workers and chaplains in this role.
“It’s really important that our staff have a good knowledge of the processes involved in organ donation, as well as an understanding of their role in this,” Ms Braithwaite said.
The Australasian Donor Awareness Program (ADAPT) workshop is being run by Donate Life and aims to provide participants with a greater understanding of grief and loss and the communication needs of families who face the sudden death of a family member.
“Dealing with the death of a loved one is extremely difficult, and often even more so when it’s an unexpected death. Families need to be able to reach out to someone to try to make sense of it all and this is generally our nurses and social workers in the hospital.
“Being able to have a sensitive conversation with families about death and inform them about organ and tissue donation is a skill that our hospital staff need to have and this workshop will be a good way to provide or enhance these skills further,” Ms Braithwaite said.
For more information on organ donation, please visit www.donatelife.gov.au.