For Nicola and her other clinician colleagues the option of organ donation is an integral part of end of life care for patients and their families.
“I have been a Specialist Nurse for Organ Donation since June 2011 and cover the whole of south Wales with another 15 SNOD colleagues. In my role I can be called to any critical care unit in the region. I aim, through speaking to bereaved families, to provide emotional support and where appropriate to offer the option of organ donation. My role at all times is to support the family, identifying the wishes of the deceased and explore the option of donation with them.
“Once consent for donation has been given I then organise all aspects of the organ donation process. It is a very tragic time for families and it is often a difficult decision to make. However those families who agree to donation gain considerable comfort from the knowledge something good has come out of something bad.
“The best advice I would give to anyone regarding organ donation would be to talk honestly and openly to family and close friends about each other’s wishes. Family members don’t always know their next of kin’s wishes. Knowing their family members wishes makes the decision to consent to donation much easier. Registering on the NHS Organ Donor Register will help family members in the decision making process.
“It doesn’t come naturally to many as a conversation subject, but it is crucially important.”