Healing the healers, coping with burnout – Thai Palliative Care Society Pal2Know workshop held in Thailand

Categories: Education.

Burnout syndrome, an overlooked issue in palliative care, is the main topic of this 4th tacit knowledge management event hosted by the Pal2Know team, one of the projects supported by THAPS and Thai Health Promotion Foundation.

The need for this workshop is great. As one workshop participant put it: “I have been taking care of palliative care patients for as long as I could remember but who’s going to watch over me?”

Another said: “The last patient took out all of my energy. I felt literally drained but have to go on working without even time for a little break.” 

Yet another spoke about how inconsistent support can be confusing, saying: “My boss never supported nor appreciated my work. Then came the latest policy and everybody is going crazy after me. What in the world was that?”

Following the panel on Spirituality held in November last year, the objective of this panel discussion is for the participants to share their burnout experiences that they may feel uneasy to bring out at their work place or with their family. It also acts as a respite care session for them as well.

By using art therapy as a medium, participants could revisit past problems and deal with them accordingly, this time with the help of colleagues and facilitators.

Participants gave positive responses to the workshop. One person said: “I have worked hard for 29 years, neglecting my own health. Then I came to realise that self-care is also important.”

Another pointed out the value of having a ‘safe space’ in which to raise these issues, saying: “It’s good to be here! There are certain issues that you just can’t talk about at your workplace. But here, with everybody from many places, I could freely talk about my burdens and feel a LOT better!”

The content of the workshops will be extracted, analysed and published in upcoming months in the form of a reference book on how to manage burnout syndrome in palliative care workers.

The next panel, scheduled for July, will be about Advance Care Planning.

To find out more, contact the workshop organisers at pal2know.thaps@gmail.com