Education is one of the pillars on which good quality palliative care services are built.
However palliative care education does not reach enough healthcare students and professionals and, when it does, standards vary greatly. In countries where palliative care is in its infancy this is especially challenging: people who teach palliative care might have little if any relevant clinical experience, they may work without the support of a properly resourced academic department, and be out of touch with developments in the global palliative care field. This has been described as ‘academic isolation’.
At PACED – The Foundation for Palliative Care Education – we are tackling these issues across our focus countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The charity has supported practitioners from around the region to participate in a number of international education and training events – most recently working with the EAPC to sponsor ten delegates to attend last month’s online World Congress. We are now developing a new stream of work by planning an online forum where palliative care educators can receive theoretical and pedagogical updates from international experts, discuss challenges in their work, share their teaching practices, and identify teaching resource needs.
Local context is everything: attitudes towards death and dying vary across the region, and educational systems and expectations differ between countries. So in late November PACED is holding an online consultation where delegations from across the region will discuss their countries’ needs and challenges in palliative care education. The input from practitioners, educators, service managers and NGOs will help PACED shape this programme which will be launched during 2022.
You can read more about PACED work on their newly redesigned website at www.paced.org.uk.