Term of Award

Spring 1992

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)


School of Nursing

Committee Chair

Martha A. Coleman

Committee Member 1

Charlene M. Hanson

Committee Member 2

June E. Albert


Organ and tissue transplantation is an acceptable method of treatment for patients with end stage organ disease. Fifty to 82% of the public support organ donations (Carbary, 1987; Howard, 1989) yet the harvesting rate of organs remains at approximately 15% of those who die and meet the criteria to be organ donors (Donnelly, 1986).

The purpose of this study was to determine if presenting an educational program on organ procurement to nurses, affects the willingness of rural patients to designate themselves as organ donors. Two rural hospitals were selected for the study. A retrospective sample of two hundred patient records were reviewed to determine how most patients in rural hospitals respond to the request to designate themselves as organ donors. It was determined that the majority of hospital patients in these two institutions refused to designate themselves as donors.

An educational program was given to 73 nurses in the two hospitals. Knowledge deficits were determined by the administration of pre educational tests. Post-educational tests reflected that nurses who attended the educational class participants had statistically significant increases in knowledge regarding the organ donation process.

After all the classes had been given, 200 more charts were reviewed. It was determined that there was no increase in the number of patients who were willing to designate themselves as organ donors after nurses attended educational programs on organ donation.


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