The training was organised by the EU funded project ‘The Development of Palliative Care Services in the Republic of Serbia’ (managed by a consortium led by Oxford Policy Management) and run in conjunction with the International Children’s Palliative Care Network (ICPCN).
Thirty-three participants attended the course including social workers, psychologists, doctors, nurses and teachers, from eight health institutions in Serbia, such as children’s hospitals, clinics, cancer societies, and child and youth health care facilities.
Participants and facilitators were welcomed to the course by the Project Team Leader Prof. Julia Downing, who noted the developments in palliative care in Serbia over the past few years, and the ongoing need for training, particularly on children’s palliative care. She also set the scene in terms of the global situation for children’s palliative care. The course is being facilitated by a team of Serbian and international participants: Associate Professor Lidija Dokmanovic, Paediatrician, Medical Faculty University of Belgrade; Dr Tamara Klikovac, Psychologist, University of Belgrade; Dr Chantal Wood, Limoges University Hospital /ICPCN; and Maraliza de Haan Social Worker ICPCN.
The course focused on models within the field of children’s palliative care and encouraged participants to embrace the holistic nature of palliative care when caring for children and their families.
Key components taught included:
- pain assessment and management
- psychosocial care of the child and family
- end of life care
- spiritual care and development and play
- Communication with the child and family was highlighted throughout the course.
Interactive training techniques were utilised throughout the course, and participants engaged well with the process, participating actively in different activities, games and role plays as appropriate.
It was encouraging to see the enthusiasm of the participants and to hear their comments and feedback as the training progressed. Daily reflections highlighted specific areas of learning and students noted the important knowledge that they were gaining and the practical exercises which have inspired them to implement their knowledge into their own health care facilities.