Seven MGH nurses attended an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) RN Advanced Practice Conference hosted by New England Donor Services (NEDS) Oct. 4. Staff were selected by their leadership group and joined 18 other nurses from Boston area hospitals at the full-day immersion program on organ and tissue donation. The nurses are now newly minted NEDS “Donation Champions” at the MGH.

“Unlike past conferences we have hosted for ICU nurses, this program was targeted for a smaller group of advanced practitioners,” says Kevin Kiely, NEDS in-house coordinator for the MGH. “These nurses were selected for having a keen interest in organ and tissue donation. The also were willing to serve in this advanced capacity on their units to provide peer support and guidance to the ICU as organ and tissue donation scenarios present.”

Topics included clinical practice, managing donors, supporting and engaging families in difficult end-of-life and donation conversations, and what it means to be a registered donor.

“My experience at the conference was wonderful. I loved having the opportunity in an open forum setting to discuss ways to improve the donor referral process and management,” says Katelyn Sparks, RN, of Lunder 6. “This conference highlighted NEDS desire to improve organ and tissue donation by partnering with bedside ICU nurses caring for these patients. I also enjoyed meeting with Neuro ICU nurses from other Boston area hospitals and discussing practice differences. It inspired me to improve donation awareness within the MGH community.”

Read more articles from the 11/10/17 Hotline issue.