Education of health care workers is considered one of the crucial aspects suggested by the World Health Organization, in addition to adequate policies, adequate medicine availability and service implementation in order to establish palliative care in a country.
The goal of the initiative called “Transforming the System” is to facilitate and increase access to palliative care in the first level of care, through the integration of PC education in undergraduate curricula in nursing and medical schools. The initiative was implemented in November 2014 in a workshop in Cali, Colombia with participants of 18 universities, representing 16 medical and 6 nursing schools. The purpose of the workshop was to identify the PC competencies in undergraduate level for physicians and nurses in Colombia.
The documents below (Spanish and English versions) include the competencies identified. The competencies are divided in six main categories: 1) Definition and Principles of palliative care, 2) Identification and Control of Symptoms, 3) End of Life, 4) Ethical and Legal Issues, 5) Psychosocial and Spiritual Issues and 6) Teamwork.
This project was possible by grants from the German Academic Exchange Service (Germany), Open Society, Foundation (United States), the Atlantic Philanthropies (United States), and the Fundación de Lima Bohmer (Colombia).
The facilitators published the results of the workshop in the Journal of Palliative Medicine in Open Access:Consensus-Based Palliative Care Competenciesfor Undergraduate Nurses and Physicians: A Demonstrative Process with Colombian Universities. A copy of the article can be downloaded here.