Between health and death: The intense emotional pain experienced by transplant nurses

Mahdi Tarabeih, Ya'arit Bokek-Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


While extensive scholarship has been dedicated to the emotional experiences of transplant patients, little is known about the emotional experiences of transplant co-ordinators. Semi-structured face-to-face interviews conducted with ten transplant co-ordinators who have worked for more than 20 years in this job. The transplant co-ordinators spoke of negative feelings and moral distress with regard to futile care of deceased donor family members as well as of living donors. Transplant co-ordinators experience intense negative feelings, emotional pain, and moral distress on a daily basis. Transplant co-ordinators play a pivotal role in the process of obtaining consent for live or dead donation of organ; however, their well-being and job satisfaction are impaired by contradictions between their moral values and the tasks they are instructed to perform. The study exposes the silent emotional suffering of transplant co-ordinators; main findings show that the transplant co-ordinators are torn between contradictory expectations and a gap between values and praxis. It is recommended to offer them training and support for the sake of their retention.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12335
JournalNursing Inquiry
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 John Wiley & Sons Ltd


  • emotional pain
  • live donation
  • moral distress
  • nurses
  • organ donation
  • retention
  • transplant co-ordinator


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