Dr A. Latha writes:
Nurses play a major role, and they are considered the backbone of the healthcare industry as they are skilled care providers and also patient advocates. Palliative care nurses provide an integrative and multidisciplinary approach to address patients’ physical, mental, social and spiritual concerns and aim to improve the quality of life of the patients. Hence these nurses need to acquire evidence-based advanced nursing skills to build their capacity and empower them.
Keeping these concepts in mind, we, the pan India palliative care nursing team, planned the Pre-conference Workshop with the theme of Augmenting Skills for Palliative Care Nurses at the 30th Annual International Conference (IAPCON 2023)of the Indian Association of Palliative Care held at Bengaluru, Karnataka, organised by Karunashraya. The main conference theme was Metamorphosis: The emergence of Subspeciality Palliative Medicine.
The pre-conference workshop was organised on 9 February 2023. The objective of the pre-conference was to comprehend the essential competency needed for palliative care nurses, was to enhance skills in ostomy care (colostomy and tracheostomy), master in caring for patients with lymphoedema, accurately calculate and administer pain medications, including morphine, to patients (morphine trial and subcutaneous infusions). Understand the advantage of the syringe driver and the safety and efficacy of drug compatibilities. Management of the site and monitoring the continuous subcutaneous infusions. Demonstrate the fungated wound dressing with the maggot removal techniques as per the current guidelines. Demonstrate and redemonstrate the nursing procedures effectively integrating the palliative care principles. Provide holistic care to bedridden patients, including pressure ulcer prevention and management.
There were 37 participants, including palliative care nurses, trainers, researchers and doctors. Teaching and learning activities were lectures using PPT, posters, charts, models, discussion, demonstration, and re-demonstration using the mannequin, moulages, task trainers and standardised volunteers. Pre-test and post-test were conducted before and after the workshop. Their doubts were cleared at the end of the workshop. We also had a motivating session on pre-requisite communication skills for palliative care nurses by Ms Gilly Burn. Founder Director. Cancer relief India. The workshop ended with feedback from the participants like they were confident and their core skills have been augmented, which will help them to handle the issues and concerns of their patients.
The faculties contributed to this workshop were Lt. Alice Stella Verginia (Retd), Lt Col Lovely Antony (Retd), Mrs Sangeetha Murugan, Mrs Sheeba R S, Mrs Celine, Ms. Anu Savio Thelly, Mrs Shakila Murali, Mr Terrymiz I, Mrs . Nileema Sharad Shingade, and coordinated by Dr A. Latha. The observer from Karnataka Nursing Council witnessed the entire programme.
(The author is Tutor / CI at College of Nursing, AIIMS, Jodhpur.)