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Today, we introduce you to Shilpa Barve, although she has just been working in the field for 11 years, she has learnt a lot by observing her seniors. She has a zealous passion for her work and doesn’t mind the hours she has to put it, as for her everything she does is worth it

The 40-year-old is a senior Medical Social Worker (MSW) who works at Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital in Pune. She has been working as a transplant coordinator in the city since 2008. Shilpa stated that thinks that her job is challenging, but at the same time is satisfying for her.

While sharing her experience about the work, which she has done so far, she said, “When I started working here, there was not much awareness. Also, I had not undergone any training. For almost five years, I was working without any formal training. The first training that I received was in 2013 and the second training that I received was in 2017.”

“I had some of my seniors who were already coordinators and who were my ideals. I learnt a lot from them. I was not aware that I will have to work for extra duty hours or even during the night time when I started working as an organ coordinator. I had two options at that time. Either I could become a charity department head or transplant coordinator. But I found that a job of transplant coordinator would be more challenging and so I readily accepted this challenge,” added Shilpa.

She stated that her work is just not limited to the task of taking the consent of the family of the brain-dead person. There is a lot of administrative work which has to be done. A license has to be taken for every organ that needs to be transplanted. A lot of legal documentation has to be done. She also helps in raising funds for needy patients.

She informed, “It also involves a task of coordination with ICU’s, blood banks, etc. You need to do all these things within 10 to 12 hours. This calls for a lot of multitasking skills and a person needs to capable enough to do this.”

Till now, the hospital has performed 28 liver transplants, 158 kidney transplants and three pancreatic transplants. A total of 16 organs of a brain-dead patient have been retrieved, so far, under her tenure in the hospital.

“Organising everything is a skilled job. But taking consent from a relative is always a challenge. We cannot hurry the process. We have to empathise with the patients and we must give them time for acceptance of the death of their dear one. They do not readily accept death. Many times, they wish to show the case to some other expert and take a second opinion too,” she explained.

A thing which many of us may find surprising is that people from rural areas are more open and accepting about the concept of organ donation, while those hailing from urban areas can have their doubts and fears.

She informed, “Many times uneducated people or people from rural areas show their willingness to donate readily. But in urban populations or educated class, they think a lot before deciding what to do and also have many misconceptions. When it comes to the pancreas donation people are not aware and the government should create more awareness about it.”

“We are somebody who just let people know about the option of organ donation. It is ultimately the donor family whose contribution is important and noble,” she concluded.

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