Empowering Bangladeshi Palliative Care Nurses – A highlight during International Nurses Week 2016

Categories: Education.

The morning started out with a room full of eager nurses and nurse leaders waiting to take part in the first Palliative Care (PC) Nurses Leadership Workshop in Dhaka. Participants, ranging from the public health sector to private palliative care organizations, were abuzz as they anticipated what they were to learn in the full day session. The PC Nurse Leadership Workshop was organized by the Children’s Palliative Care Initiative Bangladesh (CPCIB), funded by World Child Cancer which is an International NGO working in Bangladesh.

CPCIB is a five-year project which aims to support the development of palliative care services available for children with life limiting conditions. One specific way this is done is by awareness and advocacy through capacity building workshops for health care providers in regional centers.

PC Nurses play an integral role in the healthcare system as they care for patients with life-threatening and life-limiting conditions. Lack of leadership, lack of teaching capacity and lack of professionalism are some of reasons as to why nurses are not given opportunities to teach other health care providers in Bangladesh. Currently, physicians are leading all PC initiatives and capacity building activities.

The CPCIB sees integrating PC nurses into teaching roles and empowering nurses to teach nursing content as an area of great need, therefore it developed the PC Nurses Leadership Workshop. There will be ongoing regional capacity building workshops focusing on PC in the future and having more nurses equipped to teach nursing related material effectively is the goal.  

During the one-day workshop, topics such as Principles of Adult Learning and How to Effectively Educate Adults were taught in an interactive way. The participants learned Effective Public Speaking Skills and how to create Interactive Lectures with the use of PowerPoint and a variety of engaging learning strategies. During the afternoon, small groups were formed where participants were able to focus on PC themes such as Pain Assessment and Management, Wound Care and Pressure Ulcers, in which they created short presentations to implement the new teaching concepts they had learned about during the morning sessions.

Upon receiving feedback from the participants, they stated there were many things they learned including how to organize a lecture, how to teach others, how adults learn, the qualities of a good teacher and good leader, presentation skills, interactive teaching methods, how to think about the purpose of a presentation and that nurses can be teachers and leaders.

This was a great a highlight as nurses around the world celebrate International Nurses Week (May 6-12, 2016). CPCIB continues to strive towards building capacity in nurses so they are empowered to become better teachers and leaders in their workplace and in their community. Awareness of PC in Bangladesh is low, but as we empower more and more health care workers to teach and lead well, we will increase PC awareness among health care workers and ensure that all people are given the best care possible as they near the end of their lives.