Grantee details

Traveling Scholars Program Report

Joyce Zalwang, RN

Travel date: August 14, 2017

Name of Meeting/Event/Activity: 3rd Year Degree Palliative Care Training

Origin: Kampala, Uganda / Destination: Kampala, Uganda

How was this meeting/activity helpful to you?

The activity was helpful in a way that I was able to attain my set objectives for attendance as highlighted below.1) I acquired new knowledge and skills in the provision of palliative care services especially in the management of complex pain, therapeutic communication, handling of palliative care issues for children and the different ways of advocating for palliative care in Uganda. This has helped me to be competent while integrating palliative care services both directly and indirectly at the different health service care points in the hospital. 2) I obtained leadership skills that can be used in the implementation of palliative care as well as designing palliative care programs and proposal writing to benefit the patients, families and the communities through diverse service delivery models. 3) Improved my research gap through sharing of knowledge with other health disciplines with in the palliative care fraternity, conducted an audit on clinician’s assessment of spiritual issues in palliative care patients and am now carrying out a research on knowledge and attitude of health workers towards end of life care.

How will you new knowledge & acquired skills help in furthering your work in hospice and palliative care in your program/city/ or country?

I am using the acquire knowledge and skills to bring about change at my place of work in the following ways. Presentation plat forms such as case conferences and continuous medical education that are aimed at improving patient care have enabled me to discuss and share palliative care knowledge and skills with other health workers to ensure quality of life for patients and their families. Integration and implementation of the acquire palliative care skill so as to ensure holistic care to our patients and their families at the different areas such as outpatient department, admission wards and home based care. Conducting palliative care surveys to assess the needs of clients and health workers so that the feedback may be used to improve and strengthen palliative care accordingly in the hospital. Research studies in palliative service delivery which I can share with other palliative care implementing partners in order to lobby and advocate for palliative care. Provision of improved patient care and management guided by the palliative care principles through holistic assessment to address the physical, social, spiritual and psychological issues unlike before were I focused on the disease other than the patient as a whole and the family.

How IAHPC Traveling Scholars Program be improved in order to help other future traveling scholars?

I would like to appreciate IAHPC traveling scholarship for helping in advancing the knowledge of health workers through different avenues and also Miss Genevieve in particular for the patience, instant responses and communication whenever contacted in regards to the scholarship issues. As an individual I faced some challenges with transport and up keep facilitation which sometimes may affect concentration. Therefore my humble request is that some facilitation should be added onto the tuition or conference fee for the participants. Support external clinical placements through partnership of different palliative care providers in the different countries for exchange experience on completion of studies.

Narrative summary highlighting the needs and challanges you face

Knowledge gaps – Health workers don’t have limited palliative care knowledge and skills to effectively manage palliative care patients and their families. Training of health workers through workshops, continuous medical education, putting in place standard operating procedures to guide assessment of clients during care and management. Drug stock outs at the hospital especially pain control medications such as morphine and also other necessary sundries such as colostomy bags, catheters among others that are used by the chronically ill patients. Partnership and networking with the other palliative care organization to support during episodes of stock using proper referral and linkage. Timely requisition and stock taking is also important. Lack of funds – There’s limited resources to support the implementation of palliative care activities, human resource and coordination of palliative care programs in the country. Lobbing and advocating for palliative care at the different levels such as ministry of health to influence palliative care policies, community involvement and local support from companies or individuals inform of charity. Work load as the number of palliative care patients is on the rise in Uganda compared to the palliative care practitioners thus causing burn out and compromised patient care. Mentoring of other health workers who have not trained in palliative care, use of different service delivery models to spread out patient care such as day cares, home based, hospital based care and out reaches. Use of a work plan and activity plan as trained to enable prioritizing and implementation of programs.