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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 10-16

Help patients undergo kidney transplantation: Medical social worker/transplant co-ordinator's perspective

Medical Social Worker & Transplant Co-ordinator, Muljibhai Patel Urological Hospital, Nadiad, Gujarat, India

Correspondence Address:
Sujata Rajapurkar
Medical Social Worker & Transplant Co-ordinator, Muljibhai Patel Urological Hospital, Nadiad, Gujarat
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.1016/j.ijt.2012.11.002

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End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) can be successfully treated with maintenance dialysis and/or kidney transplantation giving good quality & good length of life to these patients. However these life saving treatments are beyond the resources of majority of our population and also beyond the Government's ability to provide. Moreover those who undergo kidney transplantation a lot of legal documentation requires to be done. Professionally trained medical social workers (MSW) employed in hospitals are now also trained in transplant co-ordination. Most people believe that anyone can do “Social Work” as the term is used commonly but a professionally well trained MSW makes a big difference to the success of a unit managing patients with ESRD. The chronic nature of ESRD & its required treatment provides renal patients with multiple disease related and treatment related psychosocial stressors that affect their everyday lives.1 MSW are an important component of multidisciplinary team of professionals needed for adequate delivery of care to these patients to cope with the disease and its' therapy. They help to improve outcome, ameliorate psychosocial barriers to ESRD care such as: adjustment & coping to the illness & treatment, medical complications and problems, social role adjustment: familial, social, and vocational, concrete needs: financial loss & insurance coverage, appetite, freedom with diet and fluid. MSW can help by providing counseling and coordination between team members and between professionals and patients. They are the powerful patient advocates with the highly qualified physicians, surgeons and all other regulatory authorities. All these activities lead to better disease outcome & improved quality of life (QOL).2

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