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Social workers are part of the transplant team, and they meet with all potential transplant recipients both before and after transplant.
Before transplant, an assessment is done to determine the patient’s eligibility to proceed with transplantation. The social worker will discuss psycho-social issues of transplantation, which can include lifestyle, finances, drug coverage, family support and ability to cope with the stress of the transplant process. Social workers also meet with family members, and are available to offer support to them as well.
After the transplant, the social worker will be available to provide emotional support and counselling, as needed. Some recipients want to send a note to their donor's family to express their gratitude and to thank them. Here is a brochure with some guidelines and suggestions of how to proceed with writing to the donor family.
All potential living donors meet with a social worker to discuss the psycho-social issues of living donation. The social worker will assess the donor’s ability to give informed consent, determine their emotional stability, and gain an understanding of their motivation to donate as well as their readiness and willingness to proceed with surgery. The social worker also assesses the donor’s ability to cope, lifestyle issues, financial situation, and family supports.