|Institution:||University of Arizona|
|Keywords:||Health Sciences, Nursing.|
|Full text PDF:||http://hdl.handle.net/10150/291391|
An exploratory-descriptive design was used to explore and describe knowledge and perceptions about the organ donation process of persons who had consented for their relatives organs to be donated. A 19 question mailed survey was administered to 110 people who met study criteria. Descriptive methods were used to analyze the data. Less than half of the respondents had discussed organ donation previously or knew if their relative carried a donor card, they indicated that they understood the concept of brain death and its cause. These families were positive about their decision to donate and perceived altruism as the most positive aspect of the process. The most difficult aspect of the donation process emerged as "reality of death." Nurses are a critical link in the organ donation process. Results of this study are useful for nursing assessment, diagnosis, and formulation of care plans for families in the position to donate organs.