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Hospice education helps to change people’s perceptions

A group of medical students say time spent at the Hospice will help them explain the vital work of Hospices when they qualify.

Chris Thomson, aged 25, Alex Walters, aged 21, Rebecca Magill, also aged 21 and Pearl Momoh, aged 24, have just completed a three week placement at the Hospice of the Good Shepherd.

The University of Liverpool medical students were at the Hospice as part of their palliative care and oncology education.

The students all spent time with patients individually on the Hospice’s inpatient ward, in day therapy and observed doctors and nurses speaking to patients and their family members.

Chris said: “We spent a lot of time chatting to patients on the ward and in day therapy. Spending time at the Hospice has changed my perception of what Hospice care is. It’s not just about end of life care. Patients come in for symptom control but until you come here you don’t know the full extent of the services provided.

 “I now feel much better informed about when to refer a patient to palliative care.”

As well as having education sessions with the Hospice’s doctors, the students spent time learning from patients in day therapy and on the ward.

Rebecca added: “Patients clearly get a lot of social relief from coming into day therapy. They come in to have a chat with people who are going through something similar. It helps create a sense of community.”

Alex said he was surprised by the relaxed and comfortable atmosphere in the Hospice compared to a hospital setting. He said: “You assume that a Hospice is end of life and that it will be doom and gloom. But the Hospice of the Good Shepherd isn’t like that at all, everyone is lovely. There is a chatty vibe running through the Hospice and people want to tell you about their lives.

“Patients clearly feel comfortable in the Hospice environment and they are not afraid to talk about their illness.

“The Hospice has a different pace to the hospital environment and I feel I have learnt a lot here that wouldn’t pick up elsewhere.”

 Each year 35 medical students spend time at the Hospice in groups of four or five for three-week placements on a monthly basis.

 The Hospice is committed to providing high quality education for medical, nursing and social work students.