A thorough psychosocial assessment is needed during the evaluation of candidacy for ventricular assist device placement to identify potential barriers that would limit success with the device. Ventricular assist device coordinators are generally involved in the psychosocial assessment of the patient, allowing them to provide a more holistic approach to ventricular assist device candidacy during discussions at multidisciplinary meetings. There is a gap in the literature describing the psychological journey of patients after ventricular assist device implantation and the challenges ventricular assist device coordinators face when caring for this complex population.


The psychological journey of 3 patients with a ventricular assist device was explored to determine if common themes exist and to describe the experiences faced by the ventricular assist device coordinators with each patient.


Three patient case scenarios are described, as are the interactions with the patients’ ventricular assist device coordinator team members.


All 3 case scenarios demonstrate similarities of younger ages, the need of family and social support, and ventricular assist device coordinators who went beyond the call of duty to assist in the successful heart transplantation for 2 cases and the successful decommission of the ventricular assist device in another case.


The psychosocial needs of patients with a ventricular assist device and ventricular assist device coordinators require ongoing assessment because of the many physical and emotional challenges that arise during the time a patient has an implanted ventricular assist device.

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