Shibu Chacko, Specialist Organ Donation Nurse, tells us why organ donation nursing is the role for him.
I have worked at NHSBT within Organ Donation and Transplantation (ODT) for two years and it has flown by. After completing my nursing degree in India, I arrived in the UK and worked at an acute NHS Trust in various roles in adult medicine and critical care. Before joining NHSBT, I worked in critical care as a specialist nurse for six years.
As a specialist nurse in critical care, I had several opportunities to work with a Specialist Nurse in Organ Donation (SNOD) and to assist with the process of organ donation. I had always been really passionate about the subject of donation and decided to join the organisation when an opportunity arose.
I work in hospitals to support families through the organ donation process. My role in ODT is hugely rewarding and full of challenges, which is great.
The Specialist Nurse – Organ Donation role mainly involves supporting families in intensive care units and emergency departments in making an informed choice on organ donation and then facilitating the whole process of donation. We work with clinicians and hospital staff but also engage with local communities, to help raise awareness and answer questions and address misunderstandings about organ donation.
There are a lot of opportunities for career development within NHSBT. I saw many declines in organ donation from families within the BAME community and really wanted to do something positive to address this. I was made aware of the opportunity to become a Donor Ambassador which I volunteered for and I am now currently one of a team of Ambassadors working throughout the organisation. I am also being supported to undertake the Post Graduate Certification in Education.
Joining NHSBT was a wonderful opportunity for me as it has allowed me to move to a large national organisation that is focused on a good cause. I enjoy working here as I am surrounded by passionate people. Our values are Caring, Expert and Quality which we strive to achieve in everything we do.