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Critical Care Nurses Attitudes and Knowledge Related to Organ Donation

Ingram, Jacqueline E. BSN, RN; Buckner, Ellen B. RN, DSN; Rayburn, Ann B. RN, BSN, CPTC

RESEARCH DIMENSION: Organ Donation

The need for organ transplant has nearly quadrupled in the past decade, but the number of organ donors has remained relatively constant. Critical care nurses are the vital link in the organ donation process because they can be responsible for referring potential donor cases to an organ procurement organization. This study found that the majority of nurses had overwhelmingly positive attitudes toward organ donation, but they failed to act on their beliefs. Applications for practice include the need to increase critical care nurses’ knowledge about designated requesters, the organ donation process, and procedures that assure ethical standards are met.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Jacqueline E. Ingram, BSN, RN, is an Honors Student at the University of Alabama School of Nursing, University of Alabama at Birmingham. She is certified by Transplant Speakers International as an organ donation public awareness speaker, and has recently completed her BSN and RN.

Ellen B. Buckner, RN, DSN, is Associate Professor of Nursing at the University of Alabama School of Nursing, University of Alabama at Birmingham. She coordinates the undergraduate Honors Program in Nursing.

Ann B. Rayburn, BSN, RN, CPTC, is Professional Education Director from the Alabama Organ Center. She has more than 5 years experience in organ donation and procedurement services.

Address correspondence to: Ellen B. Buckner, RN, DSN, 204 School of Nursing, 1530 3rd Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35294-1210 (e-mail: bucknere@uab.edu).

© 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.