Organ and Tissue Authority
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Linda is helping to lead the way

Seeing donor families find some kind of comfort in their grief

Linda Thomas is a former ICU nurse and has been working in the organ and tissue donation sector for the past five years. Previously Linda was a Project Officer for the National Organ Donation Collaborative and worked as a Donor Coordinator with DonateLife. For the last twelve months she's been a Clinical Nurse Consultant (CNC) sharing her role between Princess Margaret Hospital and St John of God Murdoch and Subiaco Hospitals.

This is a very exciting time for WA as, due to Linda's CNC role, organ and tissue donation has had a major presence at the above sites, with one being the children's hospital and the other being in the private sector.

As Linda describes it, the best part of being a CNC is introducing and developing the CNC role and in a way being a 'pioneer'. The unpleasant aspect of the job is seeing families disappointed and disheartened when they would really like to donate their loved one's organs and/or tissues and they are unable to, due to medical reasons or logistics.

At each site Linda works with the Hospital Based Medical Director to provide leadership and consultancy to nursing, medical and allied health care professionals in the area of organ and tissue donation.

Linda finds great satisfaction in seeing donor families find some kind of comfort in their grief, knowing that from a tragic situation another person has benefited. When asked what people's reaction is when you tell them what you do for a living: 'That must be hard!'.

Nicky Burton