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Saturday, January 21, 2006 

Nurses complete course in palliative care
Saturday January 21 2006

by Patricia Campbell

Thirty six nurses and nurses’ aides have just participated in a week-long training course on pain and symptom control in palliative care.

The course was a joint initiative of the Professional Organisation of Women in Antigua (POWA) and the St. John Ambulance Association (SJAA) with the financial support of the British High Commission. The actual training was facilitated by UK hospice care nurse Beverly Applin.
Palliative care involves the reduction or soothing of the symptoms associated with a disease or disorder, but does not involve effecting a cure. It is most often associated with the care of the terminally ill.

This week’s course is the first of two scheduled to be carried out during Applin’s visit. Another course will be held next week and has been designed for volunteers and lay people. That training session will also run all week and will cover general subjects in practical palliative care.

Governor-General Sir James Carlisle was on hand to present the participants with their certificates and commended both the SJAA and POWA for their efforts in this field.

Sir James is a long time patron of the SJAA, but the issue of hospice and palliative care is also a personal one for the governor- general, whose 86-year-old mother, Jestina Jones, died in December after suffering a stroke and developing pneumonia.

Sir James commended those who volunteered their time to offer comfort to the dying as well as those who helped the terminally ill to end their days with dignity.

The training programmes come as the SJAA works towards offering hospice and palliative services for the first time in Antigua & Barbuda. The service is scheduled to begin in February, offering in-home palliative care and will operate out of the SJAA headquarters in Herberts.

Eventually, the SJAA hopes to expand this service by establishing a hospice facility.
Cable & Wireless has donated a hotline for the service, which will be manned 24 hours a day.

Those interested in accessing the palliative care service are invited to call 772-9628 or contact the SJAA during normal working hours.

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