Staff profiles


Dorelle Sturmer
Renal donor liaison coordinator

 



Based in our Renal Unit, Dorelle’s responsible for liaising with a person who wants to give a kidney, from the start to the finish of their journey.

Dorelle only works with live donors. Any person in good health may offer to donate a kidney, either to a person they know, or to a stranger which is called altruistic donation. There is rigorous testing involved to make sure the potential donor is fit and healthy, mentally well and offering this of their free will.

“We check their kidney function and overall health to ensure that donation won’t have a detrimental effect. I organise psychiatry and cardiac testing, radiology and sometimes testing outside the region. I also do 24-hour blood pressure monitoring and ECGs. A lot of my role is organising, referring and educating.”

Dorelle works with Lynette Murray, our nurse practitioner who works with the recipients of the kidneys. Shaun O’Neill manages the recipients once they have donated. Dorelle looks after the donors both before they donate and afterward, and they’re followed up indefinitely, at least once a year by the nephrologists or their GPs.

 

Most people have no idea how to even go about offering a kidney to a person

Once a person is advised they need a transplant, literally anyone can come forward to offer to donate. It’s Dorelle’s job to look at their suitability and approach the recipient transplant coordinator to work out options.

 

People who need a kidney have no idea how to ask a person to give a kidney

“It’s a huge ask and I can totally understand why they’d feel uncomfortable,” Dorelle says.

“So the message I’d really like to get out there is to get in touch with me if a person is thinking about donating, for an obligation-free, confidential conversation.” Email Dorelle.sturmer@thdb.org.nz or phone/text 027 215 3591. Dorelle works in this role Tuesdays and Thursdays.

 

What’s your background, how did you get to here in your career?

I was a practice nurse in Stratford for almost 14 years where I did my post graduate diploma in advanced nursing focusing on long term condition management. I also worked part time at Hāwera Hospital. Then I decided to make the jump into the renal unit in 2019 because I wanted to get into a more specialised field. I love working with people who live with long term conditions so the Renal Unit is prefect for me.

 

What’s the best thing about your job?

I love helping people to get the best out of their health care and have the most positive health outcomes possible. Patient relationships are important to me, I love being able to provide ongoing care to people and their whanau.

 

Big plans or dreams?

I’m about to start a diploma in Māori knowledge at Massey University which I’ve been inspired to do following the TDHB’s ‘The Treaty and Me’ day at Parihaka.

Last updated: Monday, December 13, 2021

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