The Transplant Team

The kidney transplant team is a group of health care professionals, social workers and other providers who will help you through every step of your transplant and recovery. While each has a specific purpose in relationship to your transplant, they all work together to ensure your transplant is successful.

Transplant Surgeon

  • Performs the actual kidney transplant
  • Monitors patient medication before, during and after surgery
  • Determines quality of donor kidney before doing the transplant
  • Monitors patient and kidney health after transplant

Transplant Physician (Nephrologist)

  • Handles non-surgical aspects of patient care
  • Performs examinations, analyzes test results, adjusts medicines accordingly
  • A major player in the entire process of patient care before and after the transplant - patients should be very open with the nephrologist about any changes in the way they feel

Transplant Coordinator(s)

  • Coordinates all the events leading up to and after surgery including scheduling pre-transplant testing, finding a donor kidney, testing for donor compatibility, contacting the patient when a kidney is found and follow up care
  • Provides education on patient care before and after the transplant including taking medications, follow up visits, etc.
  • Offers referrals to social and community services which can benefit the patient and their family
  • Makes all communications between patients, hospital, clinics and doctors

Floor or Staff Nurse

  • Handles patients needs during the hospital stay
  • Coordinates activities of the transplant patient's other caregivers
  • Facilitates open communication between the patient and transplant team


  • Works with patients, family members, caregivers to discuss feelings before and after surgery

Social Worker

  • Counsels patients to help them adjust to life with a transplant
  • Helps patients to set rehabilitation goals, including referral to resources and providing encouragement to keep their jobs or find new one
  • Links the patient and their family to people and services in the community who can help them recover after leaving the hospital (transportation, help around the home, etc.)
  • Provides advice and guidance with issues related to insurance coverage


  • Educates patients and family members about medications
  • Gives advice about drugs, including immunosuppressive (anti-rejection) medications

Healthcare Team Communication

It is important for the patient to make sure everyone in his or her local healthcare team knows they have had a kidney transplant. This includes the family physician, dentist, local pharmacist and any other healthcare professionals they see.  Each should be given the contact information for the transplant team and be asked to contact them if there are any questions regarding the patient’s health or well-being in relationship to the care they are providing.



Number of kidney transplants performed in the United States. Learn More