Education and Training

Registrations invited for the IAPC’s ‘Certificate Course in Palliative Care for Volunteers’

Registrations are invited for the third online batch of the IAPC’s ‘Certificate Course in Palliative Care for Volunteers’.

Individuals who can commit, who have the time, and are willing to offer their services in palliative care facilities are invited to register for the course which aims to equip and empower ‘compassionate volunteers’ with relevant knowledge and interpersonal skills needed to volunteer in palliative care settings. The course will therefore place strong emphasis on communication skills, counselling skills, and the various psycho-social issues and its management, which a volunteer might potentially be faced with.

The course will be delivered in two components: a 16-hour virtual and theoretical ‘Part A’ component, and a 16 hour in-person practical ‘Part B’ component. Only those candidates successfully completing both components of the program will be eligible to receive the course completion certificate.

The 16-hour ‘Part A’ component of the course will be delivered as half day sessions between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. over two weekends, i.e. on 4th, 5th, 18th and 19th November, 2023.

Post successfully completing the ‘Part A’ component of the course, course participants can proceed to the ‘Part B’ of the program, a 16-hour observership in any recognised palliative care unit.

For further details and to apply, please click here.

Applications invited for the IAPC’s ‘Certificate Course in the Physiotherapy – Palliative Care interface’

Applications are invited for the fourth online batch of the IAPC’s ‘Certificate Course in the Physiotherapy – Palliative Care interface’, scheduled for Saturday, 2nd December, 2023.

The one-day certificate course aims to not only enhance a physiotherapist’s understanding of how they can contribute towards the rendering of holistic palliative care, but also strives to educate the palliative care professionals on how physiotherapy can augment their patient care and symptom management.

Physiotherapists (BPT and MPT), Doctors practising Palliative Medicine (MBBS / BDS) and Nurses practising Palliative Care (BSc Nursing, Diploma in Nursing, or GNM) are invited to register for the course.

The course will be conducted between 8:45 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, 2nd December, 2023, and will be delivered by expert faculty from AIIMS, New Delhi, and Cancer Institute, Chennai.

Please click here for further information and to register.

The ‘Part A’ component of the IAPC’s ‘Certificate Course in Palliative Care Pharmacy’ conducted successfully on 23rd September, 2023

We are happy to report that 24 Pharmacists (Diploma / Degree in Pharmacy) and 2 Doctors (MBBS and BDS) from across the country participated in the ‘Part A’ component of the fourth online batch of the IAPC’s ‘Certificate Course in Palliative Care Pharmacy’.

The session empowered course participants with adequate knowledge of commonly used drugs in palliative care for managing pain and other symptoms, and the Essential Narcotic Drugs and other Narcotic Drugs along with the technical legalities to procure, store, dispense and document the same. The interactive sessions included lectures, role plays and a platform for discussions.

Course participants will now proceed towards the 3-hour in-person ‘Part B’ training component of the course.

Excerpts from the feedback received as below:

“The course was very informative and included many topics in a short time”
“The training program is useful for us and is also very informative with expert faculty teaching us”

Registrations open for the Lancaster University’s course on ‘Dying Well: The Role of Palliative Care and Sedation in End of Life Care’ starting on 16th October, 2023

Registrations are invited for The Lancaster University’s virtual course on ‘Dying Well: The Role of Palliative Care and Sedation in End of Life Care’ which is scheduled to begin on Monday, 16th October, 2023.

The course will provide participants from around the world, with an opportunity to think about how we die, and the role that palliative care and sedation can play in dealing with difficult symptoms at the end of life. The course will also offer a variety of educational components such as videos, written resources, interactive activities and quizzes to assess learning.

Physicians, nurses, allied health professionals, social workers and caregivers are encouraged to apply for the course.

Sessions will be presented by imminent faculty such as (in alphabetical order) Agnes Csikos (Hungary), Carlos Centeno (Spain), Jeroen Hasselaar (The Netherlands), Kathryn Mannix (United Kingdom), Lukas Radbruch (Germany), Nancy Preston (United Kingdom), Sheila Payne (United Kingdom) and others. 

Please click here for further information about this.

ELNEC India conducts two core training programs for nursing professionals during September 2023

The End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) India, conducted two separate training programs for nursing professionals during September 2023.

Both programs aimed to empower participants in the principles and concepts of palliative care and enable them to provide quality palliative care for patients with advanced illness at their end of life. The program also included concepts on End of Life Nursing Care, a nurse’s role in interdisciplinary teams, End of Life Care across settings, role plays on nurse-patient therapeutic communication, breaking bad news, assessment of pain control, wound dressing, symptom management, how to conduct bereavement visits etc.

The first training program was conducted at the Cachar Cancer Hospital, Silchar, Assam, between Thursday, 31st August, 2023, and Saturday, 2nd September, 2023. 53 enthusiastic and dedicated candidates (nursing professionals from various departments in the hospital, social workers and physical therapists) participated in the program. The training was led by Sr. Hanife MacGamwell (Nursing Education Coordinator, IAPC; Head, ELNEC India), and her faculty team represented by Sr. Govindi Chauhan (Deputy Nursing Superintendent, AIIMS, New Delhi), Br. Ram Solanki (Nursing Tutor, Mayurakshi College of Nursing, Jodhpur) and Br. Sudip Rudra Paul (Nurse, Dr B Borooah Cancer Institute, Guwahati). The ELNEC India team shares “It was a wonderful experience at the Cachar Cancer Hospital, Silchar. We learnt and shared knowledge and spent time in different wards. We even made a follow up plan before we left to learn, to work and grow together. We thank everyone involved for their effort, willingness and support”.

The second training program was a collaborative training project between ELNEC India, Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, New Delhi, and Team Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi. This training program was conducted at the Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, New Delhi, between Thursday, 21st September, 2023, and Saturday, 23rd September, 2023. 43 keen-to-learn and experienced nurses from both centers participated in the interactive training program. The training was led by Sr. Hanife MacGamwell (Nursing Education Coordinator, IAPC; Head, ELNEC India), along with other nursing faculty represented by Sr. Govindi Chauhan (Deputy Nursing Superintendent, AIIMS, New Delhi), and Sr Nileema Shingade (Nursing Officer, AIIMS Delhi). Post training, the team shares, “The participants were willing to learn. I thank the organising teams from both of the collaborating institutions for their support towards this program. During the program, we were able to identify 4 potential trainers and we are certain that others will also join. This gives us hope for furthering enhanced nursing, leading to better patient and family care”.

TMH, Mumbai, trains 27 healthcare professionals in the ‘Basics of Pediatric Palliative Care’ between 11th and 13th September, 2023

The Department of Palliative Medicine at Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH), Mumbai, had organised a three-day training program on ‘Basics in Pediatric Palliative Care’, at TMH Mumbai, for healthcare professionals between Monday, 11th September, 2023, and Wednesday, 13th September, 2023.

The 27 healthcare professionals included 5 doctors, 19 nurses, 1 social worker, 1 psychologist and 1 physiotherapist, from various health care centres across Mumbai.

The program aimed to empower and educate participants on symptom management across the entire gamut of physical-psychosocial-spiritual domains. The program also included the designing of a comprehensive care plan for children with chronic illnesses / advanced malignancies, and sessions on Neonatal Palliative Care, Perinatal Palliative Care, Nutrition, End-of-life-care, and Ethical issues.

The program began with a presentation on a brief introduction and an overview of Pediatric Palliative care. Eminent Paediatric and Palliative Medicine faculty from across Maharashtra then went on to present sessions, each of which included a lecture, a case scenario and a role play to facilitate the implementation of concepts learnt into one’s clinical practice. Sessions on communication skills, Breaking Bad news, Grief and Bereavement in Pediatric palliative care were also included during the training program.

The program was led by Dr Jayita Deodhar (Head, Department of Palliative Medicine, TMH) and her team represented by Dr Shamali Poojary (Assistant Professor, Department of Palliative Medicine, TMH), Dr Pradnya Talawadekar (Project coordinator, Department of Palliative Medicine, TMH), and other Faculty from the Department and TMH, as well as from various Palliative centres from Mumbai.

A session on ‘Special care for special ones – senior citizens’ was conducted by Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram, on 13th September, 2023

The Department of Pain and Palliative Care, from Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram, had organised a health talk on ‘Special care for special ones – senior citizens’ on Wednesday, 13th September, 2023, at the Ashiana Nirmay Society of Bhiwadi.

The event aimed to create awareness regarding the need and importance of Pain and Palliative Care among the elderly, and was attended by 70 senior citizens.

Dr Megha Pruthi (Additional Director and Head, Department of Pain and Palliative Medicine, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram) welcomed the special audience and began the session by detailing the physiological changes that occur among the ageing population, along with how they can cope with the same. She then threw light upon how one can prevent falls and how one can get up in the event that one falls. Dr Pruthi also encouraged the audience to have regular check-ups for their eyes and hearing so as to maintain functionality to their best.

Dr Pruthi then introduced the gathering to the concept of pain and palliative care, symptom management, and the management of comorbidities, before proceeding to provide insights into the concept of Advance Care Planning which is crucial for all senior-citizens, and more so for those who live independently and away from other family members.

The session concluded with inputs about the safe options for painkillers including nerve blocks and minimally invasive interventions, and by highlighting the importance of focussing on one’s quality of life.

Sparsh Hospice, Hyderabad, and L&T Metro Rail (Hyderabad) Ltd, jointly conducted a palliative care awareness program at Ameerpet Metro Station, Hyderabad, on 30th August, 2023

Sparsh Hospice, Hyderabad, in association with the L&T Metro Rail (Hyderabad) Ltd, organised an innovative palliative care awareness program, ‘Threads of Compassion – Palliative Care Awareness’, at the Ameerpet Metro Station in Hyderabad, on Wednesday, 30th August, 2023.

The three-hour event from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. was intentionally organised on Raksha Bandan, to celebrate the spirit of Raksha Bandhan and promote the provisioning of care, compassion, and support to those in need, and by creating an inclusive community. The event also leveraged the occasion to reiterate the importance and support offered by palliative care to those suffering from life limiting conditions.

Heartfelt speeches and a thought-provoking skit, a set of mesmerising dances by the nursing staff of Sparsh Hospice, an exciting spray-painting corner, and a selfie stand, were all a part of the event to promote and spread awareness about compassionate palliative care to the larger community.

Mr Suresh Reddy (Trustee, Sparsh Hospice) shared, “At Sparsh Hospice, we have always embraced the power of collaboration. Today, as we celebrate the bond between siblings on Raksha Bandhan, we are grateful to L&T Metro Rail Hyderabad Ltd. for standing with us and spreading the message of empathy for those suffering from critical illnesses so that their end-of-life journey is marked with dignity, respect, care, and compassion, that they thoroughly deserve.”

The event was attended by Mr Sudhir Chiplunkar (Chief Operating Officer, L&T, MRHL), Ms Anandita Sinha (Head, Corporate Communication, L&T Metro), Mr M Durga Prasad, Dr M Subrahmanyam and Mr Suresh Reddy (Trustees, Sparsh Hospice), Mr Shashidhar K (Centre Head, Sparsh Hospice), Dr Vivekanandam (Medical Director, Sparsh Hospice) and other staff from the hospice.

The event echoed the theme of ‘Let’s join hands to make a difference in the lives of those in need.’ Click here to catch glimpses from the event.

HBCHRC, Vizag, and NHM, AP, collaborated to successfully conduct a Train-the-trainers program in palliative care between 29th August and 9th September, 2023

The Homi Bhabha Cancer Hospital & Research Centre (HBCHRC), Vizag, Andhra Pradesh (AP), and the National Health Mission (NHM), AP, collaborated to conduct a Train-the-trainers program on the ‘Principles of Palliative Medicine’, at HBCHRC, between Tuesday, 29th August, 2023, and Saturday, 29th September, 2023.

The eleven-day, in-person training program was attended by a team of 11 healthcare professionals comprising of 4 doctors, 5 nurses, 1 physiotherapist and 1 social worker from each of AP’s three government medical colleges (King George Hospital, Vizag; Government General Hospital, Nellore; and Government General Hospital, Kurnool) as nominated by the Director of Medical Education, AP.

The training was conducted by a multidisciplinary team of doctors and staff from HBCHRC, Vizag, and was led by Dr Umesh Mahantshetty (Director, HBCHRC, Vizag) and Dr Vidya Viswanath (Assistant Professor, Department of Palliative Medicine, HBCHRC, Vizag). The training encompassed integrated theory and practical training in outpatient, inpatient and home care settings and also included a hospice visit. Various topics such as pain and symptom management, oncology and palliative care nursing, emergencies, communication skills, legal and ethical aspects in Palliative care, sensitization in various areas like physiotherapy, occupational therapy, nutrition, speech and swallowing, social work, paediatric and medical oncology and hyperbaric oxygen therapy, etc. were covered in the training.

Post training, the trainees shared that they were grateful for the opportunity. These trainees have now been introduced to the National Cancer Grid (NCG) – AP Palliative Virtual Tumor board which is held virtually online once a month, to discuss assessment and management of patients needing palliative care in the forum.

Dr Vidya Viswanath shares, “We sincerely hope that the training through the NHM AP, will help evidence based Palliative Care to reach across the state. The enthusiasm of the trainees was laudable. The coordination and teamwork by the Palliative Care and NCG AP team was commendable too. I also thank my colleagues from HBCHRC, for their invaluable support.”

A webinar on ‘Deathbed Phenomenon: Review and Experiences’ was jointly presented by the IAPC’s DC, the DSCOG, and Max Super Speciality Hospital, Saket, on 22nd August, 2023

The IAPC’s Delhi Chapter (DC), the Delhi Supportive Care Oncology Group (DSCOG), and Max Super Speciality Hospital, Saket, jointly presented a webinar on ‘Deathbed Phenomenon: Review and Experiences’ on Tuesday, 22nd August, 2023.

Deathbed phenomena are experiences reported by certain individuals in the last few days or hours before their death. These experiences can be visual, auditory, tactile, or olfactory, and can range from mundane to profound.

50 physicians and trainees of oncology and palliative medicine attended the webinar which explored the available literature in this regard, and provided both a UK perspective and an Indian perspective of the phenomenon. The webinar also discussed the implications of this phenomenon on healthcare professionals.

Dr Megha Pruthi (Additional Director and Head, Department of Pain and Palliative Medicine, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram) welcomed the audience. The first presenter, Ms Rachel Cummings (Doctoral researcher in the Sociology Department of Goldsmiths, University of London) introduced the topic before proceeding to share insights from her research project which included recent case reports and other research papers on the subject. Ms Keshav Sharma (Psycho oncologist and Lead, Counselling Services, Bagchi Karunashraya Palliative Care, Bhubaneswar, Odisha) then presented the Indian experience on the subject. This was followed by Dr Abhijit Dam’s (Founder and Medical Director, Kosish Hospice, Jharkhand) sharing insights on the topic and highlighting that it is preferably a negative diagnosis when all other differentials such as metabolic and psychological are ruled out.

This was followed by an interactive discussion session. The webinar concluded with Dr Gaurav Chanana’s (Senior Consultant, Palliative Medicine, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Saket), closing remarks in which he shared that the Deathbed phenomenon was a very personal and meaningful experience for the one dying, and that palliative care professionals have the opportunity to offer patients with support and comfort during this time and thereafter also help caregivers with bereavement support.

Update from APM’s lecture series

Report on activities in September

The ‘Academy of Palliative Medicine’s online Lecture Series 1’ delivered 3 lectures in September, 2023. The ongoing series will deliver a total of 37 lectures which will be delivered by Students of MD and DNB in Palliative Medicine from across the country and moderated by a Faculty from their respective center.

The first lecture in September was a comprehensive presentation on ‘Approach to an angry patient / caregiver in a palliative care setting’, presented by Dr Snigdha Sharma and moderated by Dr Puneet Rathore. This was followed by an interesting presentation on ‘Approach to a patient with end stage COPD‘, presented by Dr Pooja Dutta and moderated by Dr Amina Mobashir. No lecture was presented during the third week of September due to festivities. September’s sessions concluded with an excellent presentation on ‘Approach to a patient with constipation‘, presented by Dr Arnavi Udapure and moderated by Dr Krithika Rao.

We thank our speakers and the moderators for sharing their time and expertise to enrich the knowledge of the palliative care’s community.

Sessions planned for October

We invite you to join us for the lectures scheduled for October. Details below: