Some of you may have seen 60 Minutes on Sunday evening. It featured the story of ‘Patient 71″, a woman named Julie Randall who was diagnosed aged 50 with metastatic melanoma. She found a place on a US clinical trial and is now in excellent health. There is much that is great about her story. She was very much her own advocate and aggressively sought out treatment options. But the rhetoric around the story was less than great.
The 60 Minutes Story ran a very strong line that Julie refused to die and leave her teenage children. As if it is really a choice. I now know far too many mothers and fathers who have died leaving children much younger than Julie’s. Not one of them wanted to leave their children. I suppose I shouldn’t expect much more of 60 Minutes than the trite and cliched. And yet it annoyed…
CareSearch has created online resources that will help build a path of cultural capability and understanding for supporting care with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Ensuring that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients feel culturally safe and receive culturally responsive care is a key responsibility of every health care provider.
Guided by an expert advisory group comprised of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people representing various organisations within the health sector across Australia, CareSearch has created online resources that will help build a path of cultural capability and understanding for supporting care with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Care pages include information for providing culturally appropriate care for all health care providers, the Aboriginal health workforce, and the wider health workforce; share information with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients, their families and communities; and provide information on finding relevant research and evidence. There is a strong emphasis on the person’s care journey and how members of the health care workforce join their journey along the way.
Today is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. The United Nations, in their resolution 66/127, established June 15th as a global day, which aims to raise awareness about elder abuse as a global issue, ‘everybody’s business’ and one that will become of increasing importance as our global population ages.
Elder abuse is defined as ‘a single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older person’ (WHO). It can include physical, psychological, emotional, financial or sexual abuse, and neglect.
While palliative and end-of-life care is not solely an issue for older people, it is timely to remember that many people accessing palliative care are also ageing, and often experiencing issues associated with elderhood, including societal attitudes towards older people. Many of these issues can influence people’s access to support, social engagement, health services and the enjoyment of personal freedoms and decision-making rights, making this an area of direct relevance for palliative care.
The 2017 Annual Education Update Programme is packed with many topics of interest, and will be a good opportunity to catch up with what is going on all over the country, as well as catching up with new and old friends. This year Dr Wendy Pattemore will be introducing a new session called, “Wild Successes and Fabulous Failures,” which will provide an opportunity to share how Palliative Care is done in your own ‘patch’.
It may be a favourite scene from ‘Six Feet Under’ – the cult TV drama series depicting a family-run funeral home in Los Angeles. Or, it might be an iconic image of those prominent funeral companies that can seem to dominate the industry. If, however, you are currently in the throes of organising a funeral – chances are you may not really know what to think, or where to go in terms of navigating this very difficult passage of time.
As a social worker or nurse working in palliative care, you may be unsure of what resources are available to help support families’ decision making during a time of mourning. That’s where a novel funeral home comparison site can be of great assistance – you may find what you are looking for Gathered Here.
Crazy Socks for Docs – by Dr Eric Levi @DrEricLevi
June 1st. #CrazySocks4Docs. But not just for Docs only. This day is for nurses, dentists, pharmacists, social workers, physiotherapists, psychologists, dietitians, speech pathologists, audiologists, respiratory therapists, anaesthesia techs, paramedics, medical students, veterinarians and all other specialties that work in the health care industry for patients. Continue reading →
In healthcare it is important to set clear boundaries in order to care for yourself and your patients in a sustainable fashion. In the practice of palliative care, boundary setting is even more important, as the therapeutic relationship can be very intense and intimate at times. We have to keep in mind that this relationship will likely end soon, with the death of our patient. It can be a difficult balancing act; using your humanity to make important connections with another human being; while at the same time keeping professional distance to protect the both of you.
That being said, it is inevitable that there will be some cases which will hit you harder than others. When a deeper connection has been made, you will feel the loss and grief much more strongly. Informal reflection with your team members and professional supervision have an important role to play in keeping us palliative care providers safe to continue doing the important job that we have to do. We need to remind ourselves that this is a job that not everyone in healthcare can handle. That those of us who chose to work in palliative care, owe it to ourselves and our patients to look after ourselves. We are a precious resource and if we do not take care of ourselves, we will deny our patients and their families the difference that we can make in their lives, and deaths.
After almost ten years of working exclusively in full-time palliative care practice I would like to share a case that reminded me of just how human I am, and how much value I obtain from professional supervision and from sharing with my team members.