Palliative Care Training of Trainers Workshop for Healthcare Professionals in Bhutan

A team from the Asia Pacific Hospice Palliative Care Network (APHN) in collaboration with the Home Palliative Care unit at the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH) successfully completed a 5-day Training of Trainers (ToT) workshop on palliative care in Thimphu from 6-10 May 2024.

Local master Trainers and Faculty

The workshop, named Lien Collaborative for Palliative Care in Bhutan, rekindled what was withheld due to COVID-19 pandemic – the zest for palliative care knowledge and skills among the Bhutanese doctors, nurses and other allied health professionals.

Along with the national faculty, the APHN team revisited the two modules covered during pre-COVID workshops. The ToT, Module 3, this time kicked off with the revision of the concept of palliative care and its assessment and taught the participants on other principles of palliative care including pain and other symptom assessment and management, spiritual care and its integration and communication, the cornerstone of palliative care. The 31 participants, who came from various hospitals across the country, were engaged through interactive sessions, lectures, group activities and role play besides bedside teaching and learning in the hospital and at patients’ home. The participants also shared their experiences and challenges in taking care of patients and families affected with life-limiting and terminal illness.

While pre- and post-tests were conducted, the 5-day ToT culminated with the participants expressing their take-home messages. Many of them shared that they have learned and realised how crucial communication skills were in palliative care besides other topics such as opioid use. Some of them wished to share the knowledge with their colleagues back home. Many of them were also inspired and motivated by the vast knowledge and rich experiences of the faculty, particularly of the team from APHN comprising of senior palliative care professor, physicians and nurses. Eager to implement what was learned in Module 3, the participants were also excited to come back for Module 4 workshop which is tentatively planned for October 2024. The ToT workshops are enabling Bhutanese healthcare professionals in providing a holistic approach of care to patients and families facing the toughest, yet inevitable, realities of life – terminal illness and death.

Thank you APHN for continuing to support us in developing palliative care in Bhutan!

Written by: Tara Devi Laabar

Published on: 28 May, 2024 | Last modified: 28 May, 2024