Your kidney transplant team

PDF download is not available for Arabic and Urdu languages at this time. Please use the browser print function instead

Find out who will be a part of your transplant team and their roles in your care throughout the transplant process.

Key points

  • Your transplant team includes a nephrologist and nephrology fellows, a urologist, an adolescent medicine specialist, nurses, a social worker, a dietitian, an information co-ordinator or secretary.
  • Other professionals that may be involved in your care include a child life specialist, a physiotherapist, an occupational therapist, an anaesthetist, a pharmacist, a psychologist or a psychiatrist.

Your transplant team will include many different people, some of whom you must meet during your assessment and some who will spend time getting to know you and your family so they can help you through the transplant process. We explain their roles below to help you understand how they can help you.

Healthcare team

Your transplant team includes:

Other professionals may be involved at different times, as needed. These include:

Doctors who must meet you during your assessment


This is the doctor on your transplant team who specializes in kidneys. This doctor will continue to monitor how your kidneys function until you need a transplant.

The nephrologist will look at the different tests that you have had during your assessment and decide when it is safest for you to have a kidney transplant.

Nephrology fellows

You may also be seen by a nephrology fellow if you attend a clinic at a teaching hospital. A fellow is a person who has qualified as a doctor but is now specializing in kidney disease and transplant. The fellow might meet you and ask you lots of questions about your health before you meet the nephrologist. Based on your answers to their questions, the nephrology fellow will then work with the nephrologist to make the best plan for your care.


A urologist is a doctor who specializes in surgery on the bladder and kidney. They will perform the transplant operation.


An anaesthetist is a doctor who specializes in putting you to sleep for your transplant surgery. They will review all your health information and make a plan for the safest way to put you to sleep.

The anaesthetist will also talk to you about how your pain after surgery will be controlled.

Adolescent medicine specialist (doctor who specializes in teens)

This doctor specializes in helping teenagers deal with issues such as puberty, drugs, alcohol and birth control while living with a chronic disease. They know a lot about teenagers’ normal growth and development.

In the assessment process, they will try to get to know you and understand how you make decisions. They will also help you to figure out some of the problems you may have after transplant and suggest how to avoid or cope with them.

Adolescent medicine specialists usually meet with teens without their parents and will keep information confidential (just between you and them) unless you are at serious risk.

Note: Not all transplant teams might have an adolescent medicine specialist. If there is no adolescent medicine doctor on your team, you can bring up any questions with your social worker or transplant nurse.

Other members of your transplant team

Healthcare professional taking notes

Transplant program nurse

The nurse from the transplant program will spend a lot of time with you during the assessment. The nurse may meet you alone, meet your parent(s) on their own or meet all of you together.

This nurse will spend some time getting to know how you are coping with the thoughts of a transplant and will tell you what to expect, both at the time of the surgery and later on when you need to adjust to your new organ and manage your health.They will also discuss with you the good things about having a transplant as well as some of the complications.

Often the nurse may offer to introduce you to another teen who has had a transplant. Other teens have found this really useful. If you would like to meet someone, ask the nurse if it is possible.

The transplant program nurse will most likely be your main contact during your transplant journey. This means they will usually be the first person to contact if you have any questions or need to reschedule anything.

Make sure you know how to contact your transplant nurse. Record their name and phone number in the detailed​ or short version of your health journal. They may have an email address too.

Transplant program social worker

The kidney transplant social worker will spend time getting to know you and your family. They may meet you on your own, meet your parent(s) on their own or meet all of you together.

The social worker may talk with you about some of your feelings about having a kidney transplant and how it will affect different areas of your life. This may include adjusting to life with a new kidney, dealing with school issues, friendships, other relationships and your family, accessing resources and preparing for your move to the adult healthcare system.

Transplant program dietitian

A dietitian is someone who helps you follow a healthy diet and maintain a healthy weight.

Your dietitian will ask you about your weight, BMI (body mass index, a measure of the amount of fat on your body in relation to your height and total weight) and how you are growing in general. They will also ask you about the diet you follow now, how you manage it and what diet changes you should expect after transplant, including whether you can continue eating your favourite foods.

Some medicines you will take after transplant have some side effects that you can control with diet. Your dietitian will talk to you about these side effects and what kind of diet and/or vitamin or mineral supplements will minimize these side effects and keep you healthy.

Transplant program information co-ordinator or secretary

Every transplant program has someone who does all the administration tasks for the transplant office. This person will usually arrange all your assessment tests and appointments and any tests and appointments after your transplant. Contact the information co-ordinator if you have questions about or want to change the timing of any tests or other appointments.

Transplant program child life specialist

This person is an expert in child and teen development and helps teens to cope with the stre​ss ​of coming to the hospital​. If you want to prepare for your hospital experience or need support during procedures, a child life specialist can help to make things easier.

Child life specialists can also offer activities to help pass the time and ease your recovery from the transplant surgery. They are great people to know!

Transplant program physiotherapist

The physiotherapist helps you with your physical movement after surgery and will give you exercises to do to build up your mobility. They will assess your level of physical activity, your bone health and the ways you normally get exercise. They will also talk to you about how you can avoid infection in your chest at the time of transplant and your activity level right after transplant.

They will also work out a plan with you to get back to an active lifestyle after transplant and link you with a therapist in your community if you have specific needs after you leave hospital.

Transplant program occupational therapist

An occupational therapist helps people with day-to-day tasks such as feeding, dressing and bathing themselves. They do not meet with every transplant patient, but if you have special needs, they will meet with you. They will assess how you are coping with normal daily activities before surgery and how things might change at the time of and after your transplant. They will also help to link you with an occupational therapist in your community if you need one.

Transplant program pharmacist

You might meet with the transplant pharmacist during your assessment. The transplant pharmacist will find out how you manage the medicines you are currently taking. They will also talk to you about the medications you will have to take after transplant​, along with their side effects and how you can manage them.

The pharmacist will also talk to your parents about how the cost of medicines is covered for your family. If you are getting close to 18, the pharmacist will also talk to you about how your medicines can be covered when you are an adult.


You may meet with a psychologist to help you understand your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to your learning and behaviour and how you handle your emotions. After gathering some information about you, the psychologist can recommend different methods and strategies to help you succeed at school and in everyday life.

Last updated: November 30th 2017