APHC 2013 delegate interview: Joan Ryan

Categories: Education.


Joan Ryan




Palliative care clinical nurse consultant at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, one of the biggest hospitals in Australia. I work in acute palliative care consultancy, which is a very busy multicultural environment in which to provide palliative care.

What has been your experience of the conference?

This is my 3rd one, I’ve been Singapore, Penang, and now Bangkok is my third conference.

At this conference, there is a lovely sense of family beyond Australia. I’ve been noting how I get much more of a spiritual feeling than in many national conferences I find that I learn differently, absorb differently.

For example, I went to a paediatric workshop where the presenters were talking about  using art therapy with children. One of the questions from the audience was: Who interprets the pictures? The answer to this was: We don’t interpret them, we just tell the stories.

There is a sense for me coming to this conference that palliative care reaches out in a sense of human connection. Without these connections, we would lose our humanity.

As a professional, as well as from a personal perspective, this speaks to so much of my own identity as well.

I just wanted to come and absorb and be part of the conference, not to speak, to participate and learn as part of the process.

In Australia, I think the sense of palliative care is changing. We still see a lot of problems, some are still the same, some are different.

Coming to this conference, I can see the way that people in other countries see the problems differently; the emphasis is different. I think we can learn a lot. 

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