Advanced Course in Pediatric Palliative Care MNJ Institute of Oncology, Hyderabad, India

MNJ Institute of Oncology in collaboration with the International Network for Cancer Treatment and Research (INCTR), and Pain Relief and Palliative Care Society, Hyderabad, organized a two day national workshop on Pediatric Palliative Care on 6th and 7th February 2012. The workshop was funded and supported by the International Association of Hospice and Palliative Care (IAHPC).

The course provided learning opportunities for the physicians and nurses providing palliative care to deal with the special needs of children with life-limiting illnesses, and their families.

The faculty was comprised of Dr. Tamara Vesel MD, pediatric palliative care physician, educator and director of the Interdisciplinary Pediatric Palliative Care Fellowship at Dana Farber Cancer Institute and the Children’s Hospital, Boston, (Harvard University) and Ms Jody Chrastek DNP, Pediatric palliative care nurse, educator and coordinator of the Pain and Palliative Care program of Children's Hospitals & Clinics of Minneapolis.

There were 28 participants; 16 doctors, 10 nurses and 2 social workers from Hyderabad and other parts of country, including Trivandrum, Delhi, Madurai, Chennai and Kochi. A medical student and a nurse from Norway also participated in the workshop.

Some sessions were designed specifically for physicians or nurses and others were general sessions covering a range of topics, such as pain in children, childhood developmental in the context of chronic illness, a pain metric, based on behaviour, for young children, symptom management at the end of life, truth telling to children at the end of life, exercises such as ‘you and death’, self care, mindfulness and integrated approaches to palliative care in children. The sessions were interactive with didactic lectures, role playing, case presentations and team interaction.

The Department of Palliative Medicine at MNJ Institute of Oncology, Hyderabad would like to thank the IAHPC for providing the necessary funding for the workshop so that physicians and nurses from different parts of India could attend the training. The department would also like to express its gratitude to other collaborating partners, INCTR and the Pain Relief and Palliative Care Society, Hyderabad, for providing necessary support, logistics and guidance.

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