Students in Palliative Care

Students in Palliative Care

Critical engagement with the idea of youth involvement in palliative care is timely given its scope and the expanding palliative care needs of the society. Engaging students in palliative care has a duel advantage. One is that their energy can be utilised for the benefit of patients with chronic disease. Another is that, inculcating the spirit of care can have a positive effect on the attitude of students. With this idea, the Pain and Palliative Care Society started its Students In Palliative Care Program.

The strategy was to give sensitisation classes to the students, followed by one-day structured training in palliative care and then linking them with local palliative care units under Community Health Centres (CHC) or Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC). We approached the students from both schools and colleges. In schools, students from High School and Higher Secondary classes were included. In colleges, students under the National Service Scheme (NSS) were initially inducted. Later those not included in NSS also volunteered to join us. As of now more than 30 schools and 10 colleges in Thrissur district have been covered under our Students in Palliative Care program. We have trained more than 300 students through One Day workshops.

We provide them with an opportunity to meet and interact with patients and bystanders in their homes through Home Care visits from our clinic along with the multidisciplinary team. Local Palliative Care Units also arrange home care visits giving hands-on training to these student volunteers. Orientation regarding the need for physiotherapy is also given. They were also helped to understand how to help patients, psychologically and physically. Both geriatric and teenage patients and their caregivers welcome the students with a lot of joy. Through this program, students will gain a thorough understanding of hospice care, and of the role and challenges for physicians and other professionals in this field. If they choose to enter the health care professions, this experience will be invaluable for their understanding of life as it nears its end. Students, in turn, take back with them memories that result in a transformation in their attitude.

Other Activities:

  1. Student volunteers serve as part-time volunteers in the physiotherapy department.
  2. Students volunteers help in rehabilitation both training and sales of products made in the rehabilitation program.
  3. Students volunteers actively participate in the patient get together programs organised by Physiotherapy and Chethana peer support groups.
  4. Students volunteers join hands with PPCS volunteers in helping to shift differently-abled persons and in conducting entertainment programmes.
  5. Students volunteers in fundraising activities, they play a major role in the Pooram Exhibition Stall Collection and January 15th Palliative Care Day Collection
  6. Students volunteers from Engineering Colleges undertook the repairing and renovation of medical equipment and furniture in our clinic.
  7. Students volunteers are running a campaign in selected areas to spread the concept of Neighbourhood Network in Palliative Care.

The sustained involvement of young people in community-based programmes for hospice and palliative care delivery could have enormous potential in meeting global needs, both now and in the future. If any students or educational institutions are interested in contacting us we would be delighted to hear from you. You may contact us via Phone +91 487 232 2128 or our e-mail ID