Travel date: December 13, 2021
Name of Meeting/Event/Activity: 14th Asia Pacific Hospice Conference (APHC) Online
Origin: Antipolo City, Philippines / Destination: Singapore, Singapore
This year's Asia Pacific Hospice Palliative Care Network Conference showcased the great developments in the provision of palliative care of our neighboring countries and it truly inspired me as I learned from their experiences. The speakers shared a lot of practical ways on how they faced the challenges and successes they've had in working their way into promoting, integrating, and implementing specifically, pediatric palliative care in their respective countries that we can also adapt in our setting. Like coals burning together, being in that conference ignited my purpose and meaning as to why I am treading this road while getting a glimpse of what's ahead of me if I burn with same level of passion, compassion, and selflessness that these leaders have exemplified through their hardwork. Because of that, they are now reaping the fruits of their labor together.
One of the remarkable things that I have learned in this conference is maintaining humanity in pediatric palliative care and manifesting it through communication with families and team members.
It has been clearly emphasized in this activity the importance of acknowledgement of the patients' and families' concerns and being truly present listening actively during their vulnerable times. The approach of Listen, Speak, and Address is a clear and practical tip that I can apply in talking to parents. Most especially, this activity helped me to reflect on how do I really feel when I'm speaking with the family. Am I in the business of breaking the bad news for the sake of informing them or am I doing it to make sure that there will still be realistic hopes left in them? At the end of the day, maintaining hope must be our goal.
On the other hand, having my diverse yet supportive team is a privilege in itself and there's no better way to care for them than having a good and meaningful communication among our members. When the team has a healthy relationship, it becomes effective. And effective teams create improvement in clinical outcomes, healthcare processes, and patient, family, & staff satisfaction.
As a response to this, my team plans to discuss setting a dedicated time and regular meetings for us to review our vision, mission, and system to create objectives and realistic goals that we can work on together. Refocusing our views and making sure that we are driven by the same principles will help us continue with our goal of promoting awareness, providing training to others, and making a difference in our workplace because small steps goes a long way when we are constant and persistent in doing the things we love doing. The key is that all our team members must be empowered to advocate the principles we believe in so that our work will promote change wherever we may be and inspire people whoever we may be with.
Another key that was also shared in the conference is the role of involving the government that will create large leaps in the change that we want to see for pediatric palliative care. So looking into opportunities for our team to join and share our experiences in various discourse with people in the government would be one meaningful endeavor together with all palliative care providers in our country. Unity and service as our foundation will surely bring us to greater success like what our neighboring countries did.
It would be good to ensure that the scholars are still supported through networking with other attendees/organizers even after the conference. Sometimes, the virtual platform tends to be a one-time experience because it works through a webinar set-up with Q&A session that forfeits the purpose of networking with other leaders or participants in the field.
I suggest what IAHPC Scholars program can do is to add a one-day post-conference "mentoring" activity to connect the new scholars to previous IAHPC scholars or leaders present in the conference who are willing to engage in making sure that the scholars are supported during the momentum of processing the learnings from the conference.
Thank you very much for the support that was given to me by IAHPC. I am glad that I have not missed this conference because it gave me a sense of belongingness seeing all the colleagues from different parts of this region who really inspired me. In spite of the similar challenges we are facing, they have come out with successful actions.
Skills acquired at the conference are:
maintaining humanity in palliative care
purpose and meaning in palliative care
passion, compassion, and selflessness
empowering palliative care providers
documenting clinical outcomes
reviewing healthcare processes
ensuring patient, family, & staff satisfaction
unity and service
post-conference mentoring activity
listen, speak, address