Current student Vanessa is a Specialist Nurse in Organ Donation


Current student Vanessa Pritchard is a Specialist Nurse in Organ Donation.

"I’ve been qualified for 10 years, the majority of which have been spent in the Critical Care Unit.

I am currently a Specialist Nurse in Organ Donation (SNOD) and facilitate every aspect of organ donation from the breaking of bad news conversation that involves the families and the multi-disciplinary team to the completion of theatres and last offices for the donor.

The End of Life Care module, offered as part of the Postgraduate Certificate in Palliative Care, was really important to me in that my role is only relevant when a person reaches end of life.

I took the course because I wanted to gain a better understanding of how other areas view end-of-life care. For example, the Intensive Care Unit is quite unique as patients are often not aware that they will be reaching end of life as the majority are admitted through unforeseen out-of-hospital cardiac arrest or trauma.

I found the distance learning mode much more family friendly than taught lessons - although you do have to be quite motivated to make this a success! Luckily, I found the End of life Care module very interesting so motivating myself to work wasn't difficult.

The support I received from my tutor was exceptional. Although I had set days that I could contact her for advice, she was always understanding if I needed guidance at other times.

I am really looking forward to my next module ‘Nature and Scope of Palliative Care’ as I had such a positive experience with the first module and learnt so much."