Comprehensive palliative and end of life care training
GROWTH TO NEW AUDIENCES
Palliative care is important in general practice because the final year of a patients' life is usually spent in and out of hospitals under the care of a general practitioner (GP) and a primary health care team.
Palliative care is a relatively new and developing medical speciality. By implication, there aren't enough physicians nor nurses in America properly trained in this area. Hence there is a high need for education both for health care professionals and keen learners.
On the other hand, there are millennials, those in the 18-25 age group who suffer from unemployment/underemployment and who could become assistant palliative care nurses.
U.S. census data show that 40 percent of our nation's unemployed are millennials, translating into 4.6 million young people out of work. And the number of employed young people making less than $25,000 a year has spiked significantly to the highest levels in more than a quarter century.
COMPREHENSIVE PALLIATIVE AND END OF LIFE CARE TRAINING
One out of five Americans are caregivers -Mental Health America Caregivers infographic
Despite this information displayed at the above infographic, there is no guarantee that these care givers are receiving the proper training for such a monumental role.
Establishing a charity dedicated with the mission of training unemployed millenials on broad topics like Pain Management & Palliative Care could bridge the above gap.
A new career training, could result for the unemployed millenial in meaning for living; a reason to wake up every day.
The end of a patient's life could be spent at home (where they are happiest), painless with regular visits from a vivid human being versus with a team of stressed healthcare workers at a hospital.
Home care nurses have an invaluable knowledge not found on literature that could be transfered to millenials via these seminars. They could participate on the seminars facilitation and share their valuable insights to help millenials build empathy and feel confident to assist those in their end of life.
A testimonial from a caregiver from Tobias house attendant care Inc. in Toronto Canada:
If I was to choose two priority topics that a new care giver should take into account when assisting a person going through their end of life, I would say dignity and confidentiality.
It is interesting that from a wide range of specialty topics required to be a health-caregiver, she chose values which form one's criteria and make a whole difference on the person's experience.
It is an immense challenge and will require the knowledge transfer of experts and users as well as the student's will and right learning attitude. However, a good way to transfer this knowledge would be utilising communication tools as the one (attached below) Comm tool for patients and physicians developed by The Lupus foundation of America I found it extremely useful for people with lupus and their caregivers to speak about ways to get and provide support. There are some interesting insights of the type of help patients get from caregivers as well as the things they value from the service provided e.g 'offer a hug' was one thing which stood out from patient's requests.
Visiting Nurse Associations and Home Health and Hospice agencies have prepared helpful materials and resources to help start the conversation about the end of life with our loved ones to encourage advance care planning.
Designing these type of tools at the actual seminars could really enrich the seminar attendees learning process. Since the range of end of life situations is infinite, owning different sets of tools adapted to specific causes will be key to the organisation's competitive advantage.
Joining forces with established institutions both in the USA and abroad will be key to achieve the organisation's mission and optimise resources.
There are some institutions already working in healthcare which could really help materialise this endeavour.
There are organisations already providing services to help people with disabilities live independently which could be interested in taking the millenials who have been trained in palliative care as potential trainees. A potential alliance with an organisation like this is PACE
An alliance with Americorp could be interesting so that trainings could be built into their affiliates service year.
Community Care Access Centres have a wealth of experience providing a difference on people's lives through outstanding caregiving. Having support from their caregivers to teach millenials the key aspects of successful care-giving would be ideal.
The seminars could be held in local places like YMCA and Settlement Houses in order to maximise the organisation's budget.
Growth to new audiences
It would be key to identify the places where millenials network and find out about career and social development opportunities in order to communicate the existence of the seminars to the people who are already thinking about similar experiences and to inspire them to consider these trainings.
Getting nurses, and care givers to talk about about the fascinating and highly complex world of palliative/end of life care in places where millenials hang-out will give them the opportunity to reflect about the impact and influence working with the dying could have upon their lives.