Operating Theatre Nurses’ Experiences of Participating in the Organ Donation Process in the Perioperative Setting

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IntroductionAll over the world there have been developments within the field of organ donation in the clinical settings, as well as in education and organizational matter. The Istanbul Declaration has played a central role in these changes. Perioperative nurses hold a vital role in the organ donation process which includes acting as the donor’s advocate, as well as upholding values to provide the best quality of nursing for the donor during the organ procurement. Perioperative nurses work collaboratively within surgical teams. They provide intraoperative assistance to procurement teams at the time these procedures are required. The research within this field is limited.The aim of this study was to describe Swedish Operating Theatre Nurses experiences of participating in the organ donation process in the perioperative setting.MethodsThe study was performed as a qualitative study. Six Operating Theatre Nurses (1 male, 5 female) with experience of participating in organ donation were interviewed. All the nurses worked in general surgery at three different hospitals which comprised different care levels. Age ranged from 28-61 y (years) (mean 41.8 y) and length of work experiences 2-40 y (mean 15.6 y). Analysis of the data from the interviews was carried out with a Phenomenographic approach.Results and Conclusions:The three describing categories that emerged related to the context of perioperative organ donation are shown in Table 1, representing different conceptions of participating in the organ donation process.The results of this study show that Swedish Operating Theatre Nurses are willing to participate in the organ procurement and the organ donation process based on their respect for the deceased and his/her wish to donate. This willingness was despite the fact that the nurses expressed that organ procurement surgery could be perceived as unpleasant and characterized it as evoking dual emotions. The positive and hopeful feelings outweigh the hardships. The nurse puts his/her own feelings aside, act professionally and develop coping strategies to deal with the situation.This study provides a greater understanding of how participating in the organ donation process impact Operating Theatre Nurses, having the potential to guide further research within this field, and will result in implications for clinical initiatives and education.Professor Margret Lepp.

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