Supporting Kidney Transplant Patients

23/Dec/2019     Health

Mater has a unique service for young adults who have received a kidney transplant in childhood, helping them transition from care in the children’s to the adults’ hospital, and teaching them how to better manage their health.

The Mater Young Adult Kidney Transplant Clinic provides dedicated, specialised services to young people aged 16 to 25 using a cross disciplinary approach to manage their post-transplant care while also providing emotional, educational and social support.

Nephrologist Dr Michael Burke said kidney transplant patients aged between the ages of 16 and 25 are at high risk of failure as they transition to adulthood.

“When a person receives an organ transplant they need ongoing care for the rest of their lives. Young people who were previously cared for by their parents can often require help to learn how to manage their conditions themselves,” he said.

“As these people grow up, leave school, gain employment and move out of home they must also learn how to manage their medication, keep up to date with their doctors’ appointments and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

“This time period can be stressful and overwhelming so the kidney clinic offers a different level of support in addition to regular medical appointments.”

At the kidney clinic, young adults are able to meet other young people who have been through the same experience as them and receive emotional support from the team’s psychologist, occupational therapist and social worker.

Occupational Therapist Esther van Raalte says the clinic is a friendly, youth-orientated and fun environment which supports around 16 young adults every six weeks.

“After checking in with administration, young adults are invited into the Dome (an open plan kitchen and activity space) were they can socialise with their peers over food and drink, create some art, play some board games and enjoy popular music. I and our social worker, Tamara, ensure each young adult feels comfortable in this space, whilst also providing education and support for managing life roles.

“During the clinic our doctors and nurses will personally come down and collect their patients from the Dome, reinforcing this model of peer health support.”

Recently the kidney clinic held a Christmas party where team members from Bunnings Warehouse made wooden Christmas trees with patients, and Kidney Health Australia provided a delicious lunch for patients, family members and clinicians.

For more information about the clinic you can contact the centre on 07 3163 8111. 

Public relations contacts

07 3163 6142