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The use of the Family Service Coordinator is still a relative newcomer to the organ procurement/transplantation field. Since no comprehensive training and recognition program exists, Lifesharing, A Donate Life Organization, decided to develop a Certified Family Service Coordinator program. We defined the goals of the program as 1) to improve the care we provide to our families and increase consent for organ donation; 2) to streamline and standardize our best practices; 3) to learn new skills and improve individual understanding and practice; 4) to share our own wealth of experience; and 5) to provide professional certification and recognition. In addition, given the limitations of time and resources that affect most organ procurement organizations, we wanted to see if a comprehensive training program could be developed using resources that were easily and inexpensively acquired on the Internet.
This paper discusses the process of creating a training program to better equip helping professionals to work with organ donor families, typically in hospital ICU’s and Emergency Departments. Such professionals provide emotional support, referrals to community resources, and explain the option of organ donation to families who have experienced the tragic loss of their loved one.