The workshop was held at Kingston Public Hospital, the island’s largest hospital and tertiary referral centre, and attracted 25 nurses.
Attendees heard from a range of presenters, both local and international, on the principles of palliative care, communication skills, pain management, dietary modification/hydration and home care.
Speakers included Dr Dingle Spence, a consultant in oncology and palliative medicine, as well as a senior nurse, senior social worker, and a community based palliative care nurse. Ellen Trueman, an experienced nurse from the UK, also contributed to the day with presentations on pain management and wound care.
The day involved lots of interactive discussion, and requests for longer and more in depth presentations in all the subject areas.
The Association was formed in November 2011 and meets regularly with the aim of promoting the availability and delivery of excellent palliative care by healthcare professionals in Jamaica.
Dr Dingle Spence, Consultant in Oncology and Palliative Medicine at Hope Institute Hospital, commented: “Palliative care is gradually gaining recognition in Jamaica, with our current Minister of Health Dr Fenton Ferguson, being a strong advocate. Referrals to our three outpatient clinics are increasing steadily and requests for educational initiatives in the area are becoming more frequent.”