Medical: Certificate in Essentials of Palliative Care
|EXTRA MILE Critically ill patients need counselling as much as they need medical care|
Programme: Certificate course in Essentials of Palliative Care
Duration: 6 to 8 months
Eligibility: Doctors and nurses
Employment opportunities: Hospitals, NGOs, Palliative societies
SAROJ Kumar Mohanty, 43, has been residing at the palliative unit of AIIMS’ oncology department for the past eight years, ever since he was diagnosed with a tumour in his neck. The news devastated him. But what came as a rude shock was rejection by his own family. “It’s been years since my wife and children abandoned me, thinking my tumour is communicable. Their indifferent attitude was even more painful than the ailment itself,” says Saroj. Abandonment is a corollary phenomenon of terminal illnesses such as AIDS. What helped Saroj cope with life was the counselling and care he received at the palliative counselling centre. Though at nascent stage in India, palliative care is increasingly playing a role in helping the terminally ill come to terms with life.
The palliative way
This approach encompasses all components of prevention and management of chronic and life-threatening diseases and conditions. Dr. Sushma Bhatnagar, Additional Prof. and Head, Pain & Palliative Care, at AIIMS, New Delhi says, “From renal failure to cardiac collapse, counselling from the very beginning helps in treating symptoms so that the patient has a willingness to get cured better and faster, and overcome emotional crisis.”
The Indian Association of Palliative Care (IAPC)was established in 1995 in consultation with WHO and Government of India to institute activities in the domain.
IAPC and many other institutes offer a certificate course in Essentials of Palliative Care for doctors and nurses in India. The course has two parts: Part A has 8 weeks of distance learning and introductory sessions about palliative care. Part B is a 10-day optional clinical placement at a palliative care centre. Basic topics covered comprise: Communication skills and psychological issues; Ethical and spiritual issues; Pain management; Symptom management; Breaking news; Bereavement counselling; Palliative care emergencies and End of life care and practical issues related to death.
Palliative care counselling right from the first stages of illness helps patients overcome emotional crisis
Dr. Sushma Bhatnagar
Additional Prof. , Head,
Pain & Palliative Care, at AIIMS, New Delhi
Select institutes offering the course
- Institute of Palliative Medicine (AIIMS)
- Institute of Palliative Medicine (Calicut)
- TMCH (Mumbai)
- Bangalore Baptist Hospital (Bangalore)
- IPC (Thrissur)