Penn Medicine Holds Virtual Classes for Transplant Candidates

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Penn Medicine runs one of the preeminent medical programs in the U.S. their hospitals are routinely ranked among the top 10 in the country. One reason might be that their transplant patients get a healthy dose of education before even getting on to a list.

Both transplant candidates and their caregivers are required to take an online course on the procedure before they can be considered. To improve convenience, Penn Medicine lung transplant nurse coordinator Daniel Miller developed a live online course and virtual classroom to onboard prospective patients.

“Traveling can be expensive and burdensome for families,” Miller told Penn Medicine News. “Many caregivers have other responsibilities and are limited in available time.”

Miller hosts these one-hour courses himself. Learners can stream in via their computers or mobile devices to hear about the procedure. The virtual classroom brings together every learner, so discussion and questions can occur in a communal, collaborative environment.

That aspect was a bonus for Joan Sehl, who lives with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and is a candidate for a lung transplant. Selh took the course with her cousins. “The online opportunity gives us a chance to meet other people in the transplant process who we might never have known otherwise,” Sehl told Penn Medicine News. “Their input is appreciated as one cannot possibly think of all the questions or statements involved.”

Others agreed that the collaborative learning aspect of the courses helped everyone.

“When there are more people in the room, it creates more curiosity. More questions get raised,” Emil DiPlacido, a candidate who took the course with his wife and stepson. “We had that class and then, when it was over and we disconnected, my support people sat and talked about things. It made us all think a lot more.”

Based on the success of the program, there has also been discussion of expanding it to include courses on nutrition and other aspects of post-transplant rehabilitation.

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Corey Bryant serves as Director of Communications for The Alliance.
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