The WHO defines palliative care as “an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing problems associated with life—threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering, the early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual”.
The goal of palliative care is achievement of the best quality of life for patients and their families. Palliative care is not limited to end-of-life care; many aspects of palliative care are also applicable earlier in the course of the patient’s illness in conjunction with other treatments. Palliative care is an integral part of every nurse’s role. This course equips the nurse with a set of competencies required to provide quality palliative care services and education at all levels and settings of care.
This short 3-day course, organized by SAJEEVAN, aims to improve patient care through improved palliative nursing knowledge, skills and performance. From May 25 to 27, a group of 30 nurses participated in a Foundation Course on Palliative Care at Indira Gandhi Government General Hospital, Puducherry. These nurses belonged to the different departments of the Government Hospital and this training will go a long way in providing care, comfort and nursing to long-ailing and dying patients under their nursing.
The objective of this Foundation Course is as follows:
• To introduce the principles of palliative care to nursing practitioners.
• To equip participants with knowledge and skills to manage symptoms and provide appropriate nursing care to patients under their care.
• To enable participant nurses to improve their communication skills and handle difficult issues, such as breaking bad news and coping with loss and grief.
The nurses accepted that the learning from the Course will go a long way in making their work more satisfactory and rewarding, as they will be able to provide better service to the patients who need it the most. It was a heart-warming and gratifying feedback for the SANJEEVAN team.