Attitude of Nurses and Their Participation in Organ Donation Process in Thailand

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Abstract

Introduction

Organ donation has been improving especially in the last decade. Doctors take care of patients and declare brain death. Coordinating nurses approach families for organ donation consent. Nurses have been trained in intensive courses of organ donation which are organized by The Thai Red Cross Organ Donation Centre. The main objective of this study was to analyze the attitude and participation of nurses in the organ donation process.

Material and methods

A retrospective descriptive analysis of questionnaires conducted during 3-day-transplant coordination training courses was done. These courses have been organized by The Thai Red Cross Organ Donation Centre 1‐2 times per year for 14 years (2003‐2016). The questionnaire specifically developed to measure the attitude of nurses and their participation in organ donation process.

Results

There were 794 nurses participated in this study. The majority of nurses (76.0 %) had experiences in caring for patients with brain death. Almost all of them (92.7%) took care of brain dead patients 1‐20 cases per year. A total of 88.7% of nurses understood the concept of brain death, 6.4 % did not, and 4.9 % did not sure what brain death was. Nurses agreed with the idea of donating organs from deceased donor in 93.7 %, did not agree with organ donation only 1.0 %, and 5.3% had doubts. Most of them (72.7%) didn’t register to be a donor yet but might be willing to do it in the future, only 25.7% had already registered, and 1.6% refused to apply for a donor card. A total of 75.7 % of nurses desired to donate their relatives’ organs if their relatives were brain death, only 1.3 % did not, 23.0% had doubts. However, 96.5 % of nurses were willing to participate in organ donation process because they knew patients were able to survive and had better quality of life with organ transplantation. Reasons why the rest of them did not want to participate were the following: 1) lack of skills regarding family approach for organ donation 2) increased workload 3) did not receive enough cooperation from their colleagues.

Conclusions

The role of the nurse in the donation process is relevant. Most of them have positive attitude and willing to participate in organ donation process.

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