Otago Community Hospice Education Service Continues to Grow
The Hospice education service often works under the radar, with the Hospice better known for its specialist palliative care service. However, the education team is making significant inroads delivering palliative care education to Otago’s health and social services sector, with the aim of ensuring better palliative services at all areas of need.
Education Co-ordinator Glenda Hall describes the education service as an integral part of the Hospice’s service, utilising the expertise of the Hospice’s specialist palliative care staff to deliver education around Otago.
“The education we provide is across the board. Over the year we do education sessions such as Palliative Care for Care Assistants, Fundamentals of Palliative Care and regular sessions for our own staff. We also provide Syringe Driver Training and Night Carer Training.
“There are up to 200 people on the Hospice programme at any given time – 500 patients across the calendar year. While these patients are within the hospice service, they are also looked after by a variety of healthcare workers in conjunction with the Hospice service. Our education focus is to support our colleagues to ensure good palliative care is available at all locations in the community,” says Ms Hall.
Palliative care education is available to all GPs, District Health Nurses Allied Health Workers and Aged Residential Care workers as well as many students studying health-related subjects.
The education team also collaborates with the Otago University, Otago Polytechnic and Dunedin Hospital to ensure that Medical School students, Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy students and Nursing students get education in palliative care. They also run collaborative education study days with District Health Board’s Palliative Care Team.
“Ensuring valuable clinical placements for many students here at the Hospice is also recognised as a valuable and important aspect of our work.
“We are definitely making inroads. Over the last five years we’ve grown our education services. There is the increased appreciation and recognition that palliative care belongs in all levels of practice and provision of education is a tangible and valuable way we can improve palliative care in our community.”
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