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Nurse Nneka Lewis-Burnett receiving her certificate of completion of the ‘Palliative Care Enrichment Programme’ from Vice President of Cancer Support Services (CSS), Gay Bowen.

Nurses receive specialised training

Palliative care education and training is more important now than ever before.

Cancer Support Services (CSS) has therefore joined forces with the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) to ensure that nurses have the skills to provide great patient care.

“The burden of cancer in Barbados is great and its prevalence is increasing. Barbados has a burgeoning oncology population and there are a number of persons who are living with illnesses, transitioning between treatments or being survivors. These persons require constant care
and attention which can prove challenging,” said Director of Nursing Services at QEH, Henderson Pinder.

He was speaking during the presentation of certificates ceremony yesterday for 27 healthcare professionals who successfully completed the Palliative Care Enrichment Programme 2019, facilitated by Chaplain Paul Leacock.

CSS and the QEH share a strategic interest in caring for persons with cancer and bringing comfort and support to affected relatives and dependents.

“Our relationship with CSS has developed rapidly to the point that we are able to celebrate a second cohort in this course,” Pinder pointed out, while also recalling that the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in 2017 provided a framework for a renewed relationship based on the tradition of excellence in cancer care.

“By being part of the Palliative Care Enrichment Programme, participants were equipped with a wealth of knowledge on how to care for patients. I therefore admonish you graduands to utilize the skills learnt and the knowledge gained to improve on the level of service rendered. Your interventions have helped us to recognize that psycho-social care is an important part of the multidisciplinary approach to managing cancer,” the Director further expressed.

Virginia Leandre-Brome, a nurse at the QEH, commended CSS for having the vision to initiate the six-week programme which reinforced the much needed skills in their profession.

Moreover, she urged fellow nurses to embrace all that was taught.

“Remember what we have come into nursing for. We go by the textbook - the care that we are supposed to be giving if a patient is vomiting, we know what we are supposed to do.

“But then sometimes we forget that we have to put ourselves in their shoes, to know what their needs are; what is important to them…And once we can do so, make ourselves well rounded nurses - we can touch so many people in this death and dying situation in palliative care.” (TL)

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