Geneve Rumohr, RN, SNC, CMSRN, CCRN works as a transplant nurse at NYU Langone Health on 34th Street in New York City. Over her years there, she has seen many miracles as well as disappointments. She got into nursing because, as she says, “I find the nursing profession extremely rewarding because I get to play a pivotal role in helping patients when they are vulnerable and assist them in getting well both physically and mentally. I’m inspired every day by the opportunity to make a positive difference in someone’s life. The expression of gratitude on a patient’s face and the overwhelming joy of family members gives me great satisfaction and is the reason why I am a nurse.”

“If you are not already, become a registered organ donor!” Rumohr stresses. “Give the gift of life and participate in increasing public awareness for organ donation.”

In celebration of Transplant Nurses Day, We interviewed Rumohr about what it’s like to work as a transplant nurse, what’s difficult, and what she loves about it. What follows is an edited version of that interview.

As a transplant nurse, what does your job entail? What do you do on a daily basis?

As a transplant nurse in a major medical center in New York City, I am an integral part of the interdisciplinary team that formulates a comprehensive plan of care for the transplant patients and their families—from admission to discharge. My role is to ensure that patients receive the best care I can provide during their hospitalization. I am a direct caregiver, patient and family advocate, and an educator who provides the patients and their families with quality and competent care. As a nurse, I demonstrate a caring, empathetic, compassionate, and respectful approach in my daily interactions with the transplant patients and their families as they embark on an incredible journey for a new lease on life.

What are the biggest challenges of your job?

While I’ve seen many miracles on 34th Street, I have also seen many patients die during my tenure as a transplant nurse—primarily because of the organ shortage, especially in New York City. This is a great challenge for a bedside nurse. It can be emotionally taxing to console patients and their families when they are not considered a candidate for transplantation or when they expire because an organ was not available in time. This is an unfortunate experience since we come to form meaningful relationships with our patients and their families. It becomes difficult and painful to witness the disappointment of patients and their families as they wait for a potential donor that may never come.

What are the greatest rewards?

It is heartwarming to hear the surgeons approach patients who have been waiting and are at the brink of death and tell them that they have an organ. To see that spark in their eyes as they celebrate a second chance at life is an amazing gratification.

What would you say to someone considering this type of nursing work?

When considering becoming a transplant nurse, you have to make a conscious effort to be emotionally invested in this specialty. You need to be able to give hope and believe in the miracle of life since the pathway to transplantation is unpredictable.

Michele Wojciechowski

Michele Wojciechowski is an award-winning writer and author of the humor book Next Time I Move, They’ll Carry Me Out in a Box.

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