Guest Post by Liese Groot-Alberts

Liese is an experienced Palliative Care Educator, Mentor and Clinical Supervisor who has helped and inspired many people in New Zealand, Australia, the Pacific Islands and many other countries. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Liese present live in person at various conferences and workshops, which has always been a real treat. Liese has kindly shared some of her personal thoughts in the hope that they will help others during the trying times that we all find ourselves in. Thanks Liese!

 

The art of communicating compassion in PPE: Pantomime of Purposeful Expression.

behind glass

“ behind glass” by Marta Bevacqua, Paris

 

“Make your choices based on love, not fear” – Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

In my work as a mentor and clinical supervisor of healthcare staff, I am currently hearing expressions of grief, frustration, anxiety, concerns and sometimes a sense of powerlessness in this Covid-19 pandemic. Staff are talking about feeling clumsy and inadequate in their communication of compassionate care to patients through layers of PPE. This combined with a high-powered, stressful, anxious working environment makes it paramount for staff to commit to time for self-care and self-reflection, increasing their awareness of how they are in body, mind, heart and soul, in order to be able to practice compassionate care.

I repeatedly hear: “I don’t have time for self-care or reflection, I am too busy juggling work and home, I feel like I am running all the time.”

I totally agree, life before covid-19 was busy enough and now is for most – in essential services especially- even more pressured. However, I also would like to challenge your statement of “no time” with a simple exercise to do at work, that takes about 15 seconds, can reduce some stress and anxiety and be helpful in re-connecting you with your compassion.

Unless you are on your way to an emergency of course, then just take one deep breath and run!!! Continue reading

#PalliCOVID #PallANZ tweetchat 5/5

#PalliCOVID #PallANZ 5_5

Check in with other Australians and New Zealanders involved and/or interested in palliative care during the COVID-19 pandemic during our third #PalliCOVID #PallANZ tweetchat on Tuesday 05/05/2020.

Join our special guests Rohan Greenland @PCACEO (CEO of Palliative Care Australia @Pall_Care_Aus) and Dr Richard Thurlow @Richt13Thurlow (Board Chair of Hospice New Zealand) to share your experiences and exchange resources.

When?

Who?

  • Palliative care clinicians, researchers, managers, policymakers, patients and carers
  • Interested / involved in helping our communities live, die and grieve well in the face of the life-threatening COVID-19 / novel Coronavirus pandemic
  • Living or working in Australia and New Zealand

How?

What?

We hope you can join us for another great discussion!

 

I think therefore I am? – Online wellbeing resources from the NZ Mental Health Foundation

5ways

Wellbeing resources for frontline healthcare workers are available from the NZ Mental Health Foundation’s website – this easy to navigate website includes lots of useful tips for this difficult time we all find ourselves in. As well as links to websites, Frequently Asked Questions, and downloadable resources.

allright

On a similar theme is their well-designed All Right? website which also includes links to their getting through together campaign designed with COVID-19 in mind. Plenty of good wellbeing ideas for all age groups are contained in this vibrant, colourful and energetic looking website. Well done NZ Mental Health Foundation!

Both of these websites are well worth a deeper exploration and may be helpful to yourself and others in your bubbles.

Stay safe and take care.

I think therefore I am? – If only there was an App to help us through COVID-19…

Mentemia

My 10 year old son and I watched a story about the Mentemia App on TV last night. Mentemia means ‘my mind’ in Italian.

Mentemia is a wellbeing App that has been co-developed by NZ’s Sir John Kirwan, famous former All Black and long-time Mental Health Advocate. Mentemia is currently free to download for all New Zealanders thanks to a funding deal between Mentemia and the NZ Ministry of Health. It is available on the Google Play and Apple App Stores.

We downloaded it last night and we both started using it.

It has a nice user interface and is easy to navigate, with good use of Simple English throughout. We found the interactive exercises fun to do, and things like spinning the wheel to choose a daily act of kindness to perform are also cool additions.

The ability to record how your mood is at anytime will be useful.

Lots of links to useful videos and articles to read, including lots of staying calm through COVID-19 articles.

At first glance Mentemia looks like an useful wellbeing app that we will both be returning to on a daily basis.

Some parts of the app are still a bit buggy, so far we’d give it a 7/10.

#PalliCOVID #PallANZ tweetchat 7/4

#PalliCOVID #PallANZ (3)

Please join us for another tweetchat on Tuesday 07/04/2020 to discuss palliative care in Australia and New Zealand during the COVID-19 / novel Coronavirus pandemic. Find out from special guests Prof Meera Agar @meera_agar (Board Chair of Palliative Care Australia @Pall_Care_Aus) and A/Prof Leeroy William @drleeroyw (President of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Palliative Medicine @ANZSPM) what has been happening in this space since our last tweetchat – and share your experiences and resources with other palliative care practitioners from across our region!

When?

Who?

  • Palliative care clinicians, researchers, managers, policymakers, patients and carers
  • Interested / involved in helping our communities live, die and grieve well in the face of the life-threatening COVID-19 / novel Coronavirus pandemic
  • Living or working in Australia and New Zealand

How?

What?

  • Topic 1: Social distancing rules (e.g. restricting visitors & limiting funeral gatherings) have changed the way we care for the dying & grieve for the dead. How can we help patients & families to live well, die well, grieve well AND flatten the curve?
  • Topic 2: Telehealth and working-from-home poses unique challenges to a touchy-feely, team-based specialty like palliative care. Please share a story about how you’ve adapted (or not!) to these evolving work practices.
  • Topic 3: Meera & Leeroy – can you please give us an update on the work of the Australian COVID-19 Palliative Care Working Group? Does anyone else have any updates / policies / resources that they would like to share?

We hope you can join us for another great discussion!

 

#PalliCOVID #PallANZ tweetchat 23/3

#PalliCOVID #PallANZ

Please join us and other palliative care clinicians from across Australia and New Zealand on Monday 23/03/2020 for a tweetchat on the COVID-19 / novel Coronavirus pandemic.

When?

Who?

  • Palliative care clinicians, researchers, managers, policymakers, patients and carers
  • Interested / involved in helping our communities live, die and grieve well in the face of the life-threatening COVID-19 / novel Coronavirus pandemic
  • Living or working in Australia and New Zealand

How?

What?

  • Topic 1: Please share a story about your #COVID19 #Coronavirus experience so far – at work, at home and/or online
  • Topic 2: Have you come across any useful #COVID19 #Coronavirus resources that others might find helpful?
  • Topic 3: How can we look after ourselves and each other during the #COVID19 #Coronavirus pandemic?

We hope you can join us for a great discussion about this global public health challenge!

 

Palliating in a pandemic

It’s hard to overstate the impact of the novel Coronavirus on health systems around the world. It’s particularly poignant for palliative care workers, so familiar with dying, to imagine the loss and grief. We try to image what it could be like for health care workers at the front line. Soon we will not have to imagine, as we will be at the front line.

This article, written in 2010 about influenza by Dr Downar and Dr Seccareccia, is prescient.

Twitter as always is an invaluable source of dialogue on this issue. Try out this thread    from @AmitAryaMD  – you don’t need to be able to use Twitter to read it.

How are your teams and health care service preparing for the pandemic in Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere?

 

 

Putting the CAR-T before the horse?

Dr Benjamin Thomas’s excellent thread about economic justice for palliative care patients in the context of the announcement of a likely announcement regarding the Government funding around 200-250 patients for $500,000 each to receive CAR-T treatment.

He calculates what we could do for palliative care patients with the same money.

Worth a read! Thanks Ben @andiyarus

https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1222006604289101824.html

 

 

Announcement re CAR-T funding

 

Inspired to improve your communication skills?

 Cancer Council WA delivers the very successful workshop on communication skills training, perfect for the situations described in our article earlier today.

For more information in WA see here

Cancer Council Victoria also has a variety of education and communication workshops and resources.

Know a great resource for communication skills? Comment below.

Continue reading

#advancecareplanning seminar in Melbourne 9 August

Featuring not one but two Palliverse tweeps, @csinclair28 and @sonialf, this seminar at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in central Melbourne, Australia will be of interest to the healthcare sector including aged care and acute care.

Well-coordinated and appropriate person-centred care is a key priority. It’s becoming increasingly important for the healthcare sector to better understand advance care planning, which supports an individual’s values, goals and preferences.

Presented by Advance Care Planning Australiathe Department of Health and Human Servicesthe Office of the Public Advocate and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, this Melbourne-based Victorian seminar will be run by recognised leaders in the field of advance care planning in Australia. To find out more about the program, see the agenda here.

The topics covered include advance care planning across sectors, legal considerations and local initiatives. The event is recommended for professionals leading and implementing advance care planning in health services, residential aged care and primary care.

Venue: Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre – Lecture Theatre B, 305 Grattan Street, Melbourne VIC 3000.

Date: Friday, 9 August 2019, 9:00am – 4:30pm. Registration and refreshments start at 8:00am.

Program: see the agenda here.

Cost: $100 (including GST).

Catering: Included in the ticket price.

Registration

Register on Eventbrite here.

Registration closes Friday 26 July 2019 at 9pm AEST.