The 16 students, comprising of hospice staff members, volunteers and members of our community, successfully completed the 40-hour course that took place over five days. Some of the subjects covered included Principles of Palliative Care, Pain Assessment and Symptom Management, Communication, Loss, Grief and Bereavement.
“The establishment of our own Centre for Palliative Learning is in line with our vision of becoming a 5-star hospice. It is also a fact that palliative care will become an integral part of the health system in South Africa and expert training will therefore be required,” says manager of the centre, Sonia Thomson.
Understanding palliative care and training has a dramatic impact on the quality of life for patients with an active, progressive and far advanced disease, as the focus of care shifts to quality of life through the relief and prevention of suffering.
Palliative care is required for a wide range of diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, AIDS and diabetes. It therefore makes sense that not only professional and enrolled nurses, caregivers and multidisciplinary teams undergo the training, but also family members of patients.
The hospice engaged the services of Fiona Shraga who is facilitating the “Introduction to Palliative Care” Course. Fiona is a nursing tutor and HPCA e-learning national coordinator in the Short Course Palliative Care Nursing and has several qualifications behind her name such as Professional Nurse and Midwife. She has completed her degree in nursing education, nursing management, community health, and completed her palliative care training at Wits Hospice. The e-learning online facilitation course was done through UCT.
Dates for the next course will soon be released, says Sonia. “However, anyone interested in attending, is more than welcome to mail me their details. We will respond with exact dates once finalized.” firstname.lastname@example.org