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30. #50YearsofTransplant: Stephanie Hastings

Stephanie not only has a personal connection to transplant tying her to organ donation, she is passionate about her role on the Quality Assurance team at BC Transplant to ensure health and safety for all of our patients.
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What is your role on the Quality Assurance team at BC Transplant?

"Everyone involved in the organ donation process wants the transplant to be as successful as possible. We can achieve this by following a set of guidelines and standards surrounding the quality and safety of organs for therapeutic purposes. This is where the Quality team comes in! As members of the Quality team, we ensure that BC Transplant follows a system that maximizes the benefits and minimizes the risks of transplant. This kind of work involves the communication of patient safety information to transplant programs, developing and maintaining standard operating procedures, reporting of any adverse events, performing audits of our programs and managing the quality assurance of our equipment and supplier programs."

Can you explain what a day in the life of your job looks like?

"When a transplant takes place, I review the donor chart and communicate lab results plus any necessary follow-ups or monitoring protocols to the transplant programs. These act as tools which physicians can use to make decisions about the treatment for recipients.  Afterwards, I liaise with the BCT clinical and surgical team to perform detailed audits of donor charts to meet Health Canada Regulations. I also monitor the organ recovery equipment and investigate any deviations so that operations can run smoothly.  I follow up on patient safety incidents following transplants and work with Health Canada to implement corrective actions."

Do you have a personal connection to transplant? What is the most rewarding part of being on this team?

"I have a personal connection to organ donation as my aunt is a liver recipient. I can't begin to describe how happy and relieved we were the day we found out she was going to get a new liver. It was a miracle and one that affected my entire family. The gift of life is one of the kindest and most selfless things people can do and for me personally, that feeling of gratitude and appreciation will stay with me forever. This is why working here is so rewarding. I am in awe of my colleagues who are so committed to the donor families who have lost loved ones and who are heroes to us and to their recipients and recipients' families. They have helped another family and have been so compassionate and thoughtful during a time of grief. The people involved in the donation and transplant journey are incredible and they make you realize just how special the gift of life truly is." 

How important is organ donation and discussing one's decisions with family and friends?

"Having a discussion with family and friends is so helpful for everyone. Knowing organ donation is what you would or would not have wanted can make a family's decision a lot easier at a time when they are trying to deal with their loss. I think it acts as a comfort to the family, knowing that they are following their loved one's wishes."

What is your perspective on BC's milestone of 50 years of donation and transplant?

"I think this milestone is pretty incredible as it represents for me, the thousands of people who are alive today because of transplant.  It makes me think of all the people involved in the donation and transplant journey, the partnerships, the care and the compassion and it makes me feel very proud to be a part of something so wonderful."

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