ICPCN provides children’s palliative care training in Prague

Participants in the 3 day training with their certificates. Trainers Dr Mike Miller and Maraliza de Haan in the centre

Children’s palliative care is still in the early stages of development in the Czech republic and at present there are only four children’s palliative care providers. The Children’s Palliative Care Taskforce, established in 2015 in the Czech Republic, made the decision to change this situation.

The Taskforce, in cooperation with ICPCN, organised an “Introduction to children’s palliative care” course in Prague for doctors, nurses and other professionals.

“This course is just the beginning of our cooperation with ICPCN; this year we want to train 10 Czech lecturers in children’s palliative care and translate the ICPCN e-learning courses to increase the capacity of local professionals”, says Jiri Krejci, manager of the Taskforce.

The first 3-day Introductory course for 2017 took place in Prague between 26 – 28 June 2017. Participants consisted of 5 doctors, 1 psychologist, 1 social worker and 4 nurses and came from towns as far as 2 hours drive from Prague. Most of them are already working in the field of adult palliative care with the vision to extend palliative care services to children.

The introduction course covered basic and important topics, including:

  • Play and child development
  • Assessment tools in CPC
  • Pain assessment and management
  • Psycho-social issues
  • Management of symptoms other than pain
  • Grief & bereavement
  • Spiritual care
  • Family care

The trainers report
On a warm June day in Prague, the 11 Czech participants met the two trainers, Maraliza de Haan (Social Worker) and Dr Mike Miller (Children’s Palliative Care Doctor). The language barrier was quickly overcome and the trainers were impressed by the participant’s English skills. Participants provided good multidisciplinary representation and included psychologists, teachers, researchers, nurses and doctors which ensured that there was a lot of shared learning. All can now quote the definition of CPC if woken at 3am!

The course proved to be more emotional than expected and was hard work, but rewarding. The two sessions of role-play were done in Czech, and seemed very real. There was excellent participation with the energy levels rising over the three day.

The Hub was a good, friendly venue that looked after us well. Like all good groups we were sorry to part but had important learning to take back to our working lives to benefit children and their families.

Reflections from participants
“I can always sense at the end of a training course, how everything went, in the mood of the participants. They are either depressed and tired, or very excited and energised. Today I see the latter, ” said Jiri Krejci, manager of the Children’s Palliative Care Taskforce.

“I realise now that working in the field of CPC we have to deal and understand emotion in ourselves and the family we work with. We are professionals and also human and that is possible in the field of children’s palliative care,” said one participant while another expressed her appreciation with the words, “I am excited to go back to my organisation to share the amazing knowledge I have gained in only three days!”

Authors: Jiri Krejci, Dr Mike Miller, Maraliza de Haan

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