Heart Transplant Team
Heart Failure/Transplant Cardiologists
Heart failure/transplant cardiologists will see you in the clinic or in the hospital to begin the heart transplant evaluation process. They provide medical care to patients during the evaluation process, while patients are on the waiting list for transplant, and after the transplant surgery. This includes heart failure care prior to transplant as well as the management of immunosuppression and other medical issues after surgery.
Surgeons meet with patients and families during the evaluation process to perform a medical evaluation, explain the surgical process, and review individual risks and benefits to transplant. Surgeons perform the actual transplant surgery and work in collaboration with the transplant cardiologists to manage your care after the surgery.
Heart Failure Coordinators
Heart failure coordinators are responsible for coordinating your heart care prior to transplant, from the time of initial referral until the time of transplant. Your heart failure coordinator will organize the evaluation process and maintain contact with you and your physicians during the waiting period. Your heart failure and transplant coordinators work closely during the listing period and initially after transplant to assure a smooth transition in care providers.
Transplant oordinators are responsible for coordinating every aspect of transplant care, from the time of transplant through long-term, post-transplant care. Your coordinator will provide pre-transplant instructions and information, assist with arranging transportation at the time of transplant (if necessary) and arrange for the admission at the time of transplant. Coordinators manage patient and family education and post-transplant follow-up care, including contact with local physicians, health care facilities and outpatient transplant clinics.
Inpatient Heart Failure/Transplant Nurses
Inpatient heart failure/transplant nurses specialize in the care and treatment of heart failure/transplant patients during their hospital stay. Following transplant, patients are assigned a primary nurse for their inpatient nursing care that will work with physicians, coordinators and other healthcare disciplines to prepare you for your discharge.
Clinical Social Workers
Clinical social workers conduct a psychological assessment, discuss available community resources, assist with financial resources and work with other members of the team to support you emotionally throughout the evaluation and transplant process. They also can assist you with finding a support group for patients and their families.
Financial counselors work with you and your insurance company both before and after transplant to facilitate financial matters concerning transplantation, such as billing, collection, deductibles, drug coverage and co-insurances. They are responsible for your education about the financial aspects of transplantation and are your best resource for assistance with any insurance related questions.
Clinical dieticians work with you and your family to evaluate your nutritional status and develop a plan for good nutrition throughout the transplant process.
Medical and surgical residents, physician assistants and nurse practitioners assist your physicians during every aspect of your inpatient and outpatient care.
Transplant pharmacists work closely with physicians, nursing staff and the patient to assure that you understand your medicines and how to take them.
Chaplains help patients and families receive comfort and meaning from their faith during illness and recovery. Our chaplains provide spiritual and emotional support and perform sacraments. Catholic and Protestant services are held at the hospital chapel on Sundays.
Cardiac Rehab Nurses
Cardiac rehab nurses assist in developing an individual exercise program that will progress as you recover from transplant. The UW cardiac rehab nurses will start you on a regular exercise program and then refer you to a local program for continued rehabilitation.
Other Physician Consultations
Other physician consults may be required during the transplant evaluation or after transplant to address individual needs. UW Hospital and Clinics has many specialized expert physicians that can be consulted to assist with providing you with the best care possible. Infectious disease, dental, endocrine, general surgery, and dermatology are just a few of the physician teams available to assist in your care.
Administrators who specialize in managing complex systems in an academic medical center are involved in guiding the transplant program. They support the caregiver team by providing the necessary resources and ensuring processes and procedures are working smoothly.
Other services are available to provide assistance to patients and their families. For example, interpreter services can be made available for anyone needing translation services and housing assistance can assist the patient and family should temporary housing be required.