Long-Term Follow-Up

Carina Moravec, ARNP

No two patients share the same post-transplant experience, which makes Carina Moravec's job as a nurse practitioner with the Long-Term Follow-Up Unit (LTFU) the most interesting, challenging and satisfying one she's ever had.

Carina Moravec, A.R.N.P.

The LTFU helps patients deal with any issues that arise after they return home. "Patients or their personal physicians contact us with various problems ranging from simple to complex, and my job is to analyze the information and provide them with recommendations regarding diagnostic tests or treatments," she said. "I always feel like I'm learning something new and interesting."

Moravec began her career as a critical care clinical specialist. She started working with transplant patients 20 years ago at Swedish Medical Center. As a bone-marrow transplant clinical specialist, she developed and led a training program for nurses working in the Fred Hutchinson transplant unit located in Swedish. In 1989, she joined Fred Hutchinson as the evening shift supervisor of the inpatient transplant unit. She returned to the University of Washington to attend its nurse practitioner program in 1994 and joined the LTFU seven years ago.

Over the years, Moravec has witnessed great progress in post-transplant care. For example, cytomegalovirus (CMV) pneumonia used to be a deadly threat. "There was a 80 percent mortality rate among patients who got it," said Moravec. "We can now prevent most cases with careful monitoring and preemptive treatment. Treatment has also improved so the mortality of the few cases we now see has improved dramatically."

Working with transplant patients is an inspiring experience, said Moravec. "These patients are brave," she said. "They are generally uprooted from their hometown and support system when they come to Seattle for a transplant. They don't know whether they will survive the transplant process or not. After they return home, their health is often still tenuous and they face many challenges."

Recovering patients and their doctors greatly appreciate the post-transplant support the LTFU provides — especially its free telephone consultation service. "We are busy on the phones all day," said Moravec. "It is our policy to answer every call no matter how simple or serious the question is."

Moravec considers the LTFU team second to none. "I work with a wonderful and dedicated group of people," she said. "Despite the seriousness of the job, my co-workers all have a great sense of humor that helps to brighten the day. We share our life events with each other and often get together for social events outside of work. It's the best job I've ever had."