Pre- and Post-Transplant Patient Support
Our Transplant inpatient unit is dedicated to caring for kidney, pancreas, liver and lung transplant patients. (Heart transplant patients receive care in the Cardiovascular Unit.) Staffed by nurses and other medical professionals with specialized training, the 28-bed unit is a place for transplant patients to recover. Our unique 7/70 staffing (where nurses work seven 10-hour days and are off for seven days) allows our nurses get to know the transplant patients and their families very well, which encourages personalized care and attention.
Pre-transplant Education Classes
Transplant patients, particularly those considering kidney and/or pancreas transplants, are encouraged to attend one of our pre-transplant education classes. The classes cover a variety of topics to help patients and their families better understand the transplant process, its risks and benefits. Patients are asked to attend a class before scheduling a consult with a physician.
Classes are offered two to three times per month and last about two hours. They are held at Froedtert Hospital. Because seating is limited, patients are generally limited to bringing only one family member. The classes are sometimes held in the Appleton area as well. If you are interested in signing up for a class, please call 414-805-3666, 8 a.m.-9 p.m.
At Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin, post-transplant coordinators in the Kidney/Liver/Pancreas Transplant Program are available to help our patients through every aspect of their follow-up care. Our post-transplant coordinators — all RNs — serve as the main contact for patients to call for any questions or concerns they might have.
The advantage for transplant patients is that they have one person they know and one number to call for everything — and that person is familiar with their case and history. The post-transplant coordinators get patients in touch with the right people and find the answers they need quickly and efficiently. This approach gives our patients great peace of mind at a time when they need to focus on their recovery.
We also have financial liaisons who work with our transplant recipients to navigate the insurance maze and other financial issues that can occur before and after a transplant. It’s vital that our transplant patients have appropriate insurance to cover the immunosuppressive medications that keep their bodies from rejecting the transplant. Our financial liaisons work with each patient to make sure they have the coverage they need at every stage of their transplant.
We offer preceptorship classes to nurses, dialysis technicians, social workers, unit managers and other medical professionals interested in learning more about the transplant process.
During the day-long workshop, participants meet with a clinical coordinator and hear a shorter version of the pre-transplant education class for patients. They also review donor and living donor options for kidney transplants. A representative of the Wisconsin Donor Network discusses where donated organs come from and how they are matched. A nurse from the Transplant Unit covers what happens on the hospital floor and after discharge. They also tour the Transplant Clinic and learn more about follow-up care. Finally, participants are usually able to view a living-donor kidney transplant in progress.
Preceptorship classes are held several times throughout the year. There is no cost for this program, and participants may qualify for continuing education credits. For more information, call 414-805-3666 or 800-272-3666.
Certifications, Accreditations and Awards
While statistics vary for each transplant program, our overall survival rates meet or exceed national averages. Organizations such as United Network for Organ Sharing can provide current statistics on survival rates, waiting times and other significant information.
Wisconsin Donor Network
The Wisconsin Donor Network, a service line of the BloodCenter of Wisconsin, is the federally designated organ procurement organization supporting the transplant community in eastern Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Donor Network offers education, information and other resources regarding organ and tissue donation and transplantation. In addition to recovering organs for transplant, the Wisconsin Donor Network provides public and professional education about the tremendous need for organ and tissue donors. It is the region's primary, most current source of information regarding organ and tissue donation.