St Catherine’s shares gifts of skills with others
Recent graduates of a training certificate delivered by St Catherine’s Hospice to help raise standards in end of life care are looking forward to putting their skills into practice in their own workplaces.
The hospice has just completed another Certificate in End of Life Care, a course designed to share their specialised skills and experience with other health and social care providers in the community.
Now they are recruiting the next cohort of students for a unique health and social care diploma focused on end of life care with a suite of specialist units, run in partnership with Preston’s College.
The Give A Gift campaign, launched with the Lancashire Evening Post to celebrate the 30th anniversary of St Catherine’s, highlights 30 things the hospice wants to achieve in 2015. One of the ‘gifts’ on the list is to have 30 students enrolled on the course this year.
The diploma includes modules from the highly successful and nationally recognised ‘Six Steps to Success’ programme, which has been delivered locally by St Catherine’s Hospice since 2011.
The study programme – which begins again at the end of July – is aimed at anyone working or volunteering in the health and social care sector, and will further develop knowledge and skills in end of life care and practices.
Stephanie Briggs, a senior support worker at Ravenscroft Rest Home in Longton, has just completed the Certificate in End of Life Care – a shorter version of the diploma which focuses on the theoretical elements which can then be applied in her practical work setting.
Stephanie, who will share what she has learnt with Ravenscroft employees, said: “I was interested in taking an end of life care course because it is a situation I approach on a regular basis. I wanted to develop my skills in this area so that I felt more comfortable and confident, and ultimately so that our residents get the best possible care and support when facing that difficult situation.
“Ravenscroft are committed to regular training and development and we believed that a course delivered by the hospice – which has lots of relevant experience in this area – would be the most beneficial.
“The sessions have been very informative and have certainly built my confidence around end of life care, which is so important when you only get one chance.
“They have helped me learn more about broaching sensitive conversations with people and talking to them about what they want to happen. There is still a taboo surrounding death and dying which means people often don’t want to open up about it, but the course has taught me how to overcome those issues in order that plans can be made to ensure people’s wishes are met.”
The diploma includes a series of education workshops covering key areas of end of life care. These include looking at identifying the appropriate time to begin discussions about end of life care; formulating holistic care plans based on patients’ priorities and wishes; and learning about the importance of sharing information across the whole care team.
Other elements centre on learning about how to deliver care which maintains independence, choice and control for as long as possible; examining appropriate and relevant care steps in the last days of life; and identifying good practice in providing support to families following death.
Sue Clayton, Lead Clinical Educator at St Catherine’s, said: “The diploma is fostering a greater understanding of the implications and importance of providing specialised care to meet the physical, emotional, social and practical needs of individuals with life-shortening illness. Not only does this benefit patients, carers and loved ones, but is also a key factor in professional development – which, in turn, is facilitating the development of a compassionate community.”
• For more information about the End of Life Care Diploma contact Vanessa Conlin at Preston’s College: email@example.com
• For more information about the Give A Gift campaign and how you can help click here, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01772 695290.
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