The third day of training for Transplant Coordinators conducted by Mohan Foundation focused on Brain Death and Counseling. Mrs. Chandini Srinivasan, Masters in Counseling and Consultant took the morning session. After the introduction Mrs Chandini dived into Psychology and the importance of the love, care that is generally received as children between the ages of 2 and 6 years. 90% of brain development takes place in this period and hence adequate care must be given at this stage of the child. It impacts our attitude, personality for the rest of our lives.
The spealer then taught the trainees about the various stages of Counseling which started with the patient refusing to accept that he/she had a problem. Counseling should be done only when the patient opens up. Ethics of Counseling was taught with emphasis on boundaries between Counselor and Counselee.
Dr B.S Subrahmanyam, an Anesthesiologist and Consultant at Kamineni Hospital conducted the next session. He took the trainees over the ten steps in the process of brain death donor. It started with Donor Detection, Donor referral to Organ harvesting, sharing of organs and Transplantation. He also taught the nuances of when to broach the topic of organ donation with the family of the patient. 'Always initiate topic of donation with cornea donation', 'Anonymity is very important in organ donation' advised Dr Subrahmanyam. He also went over some medical facts regarding temperature, blood pressure of brain dead patient to be maintained in order to safeguard the organs.
The post lunch session was back to counseling where Mrs Chandini taught the group about grief counseling covering the basic do's and don'ts. "Never touch the counselee, make them feel comfortable, do not disclose your personal details, be very simple and straightforward when you talk," were some tips given to the trainees. The trainees next learnt about Cognitive Therapy which says that much of behavior is what we think and the approach is to concentrate on current problem (Fear, Anxiety etc). Systematic Grief Sensitization was followed by an interesting session of group discussion where the trainees discussed random topics of Alcoholism and Marriage and Divorce. It was interesting to see various view points and participants eagerly pitching in their views.
The final session was 'mock sessions' where two participants were asked to role play as patient's family and social worker. After that, Mrs Chandini and Mr Raghuram pointed out the areas where they could improve and the reason why some questions could derail the conversation. The trainees were taught the importance of being aware of the pain and stress the family of the patient would be going through. As Mrs Lalitha summed it up at the end, if the patient's family feels that they have received every care possible at the hospital only then they were open to talk about organ donation.