Ivan Ng is an Enrolled Nurse (EN) from Hobart who completed a PEPA placement recently. Ivan has been working as an EN for 3 years and has always been interested in palliative care. He was interested in further learning in palliative care as his role as an EN in an aged care mental health unit highlighted to him how important palliative care planning is important to people’s health. Ivan was introduced to PEPA by his nursing leaders who support PEPA as a learning experience to support professional development. Ivan applied for a placement and was allocated 3 days of experience with the Specialist Palliative Care Service in Hobart. The placement program included 1 day in the Community Palliative Care Team; 1 day in the Hospital Palliative Care Team; and 1 day on the Whittle Palliative Care Unit.
Ivan enjoyed the placement as it “extended his view of what palliative care is”. “I didn’t appreciate how holistic it is – to include family and other loved one’s considerations”. Ivan’s experience as a nurse and his understanding of the diverse nature of the Australian population was the idea behind his post placement outcome that he wanted to complete after his placement experience.
The post placement outcome is an important part of the PEPA education experience as it supports the placement persons colleagues to learn more about their learning experience. Every placement participant comes up with a different idea and this is because every participant has a different experience which impacts them for future practice.
Ivan has had concerns about patients who have families in and from other countries who cannot communicate with loved ones and medical staff about the care paths required for care at the end of life. With that in mind Ivan created an education session to present to colleagues in his care environment regarding the importance of communication. The title was ‘Palliative Care and Loved Ones – a focus on communication between the patient and their loved ones’. The objective – to allow for families and loved ones to communicate (visually, verbally and sign) with minimal logistical constraints using technology such as Skype. This would support patients with multicultural languages, co-morbidities, disabilities and health challenge considerations when holistic care needs to be the focus of patient-centred care.
Ivan received positive feedback from colleagues for his post placement activity which has encouraged him to seek ongoing employment with the Whittle Unit (he starts orientation next week).
Thanks Ivan for sharing your story and participating in PEPA.