Laura Iosub, PR Coordinator for Education and Development at HOSPICE Casa Sperantei, Romania, continues this week’s series of posts from Romania
HOSPICE Casa Sperantei, the first hospice in Romania, launched its Education and Development Programme in 1997. We started with courses for Romanian participants but then an important development happened that changed our plans dramatically. In 2003, our hospice was designated as a Beacon of Excellence in palliative care in Eastern Europe. This followed extensive assessment by researchers from the University of Sheffield, UK, who confirmed that HOSPICE Casa Sperantei was an outstanding example of high-quality palliative care. And so we began to address the needs of practitioners from neighbouring European and Asian countries.
Our training team disseminates knowledge acquired in 20 years of practice through our diverse educational programmes: national and international courses and conferences, exchanges and clinical placements. Physicians are nationally accredited trainers and our nurses are also ELNEC trainers. Our courses are officially recognised for the continuing medical education of clinical staff by the National School of Public Health and Management, the Romanian College of Physicians and the Romanian National Order of Registered Nurses.
For Romanian professionals and students, HOSPICE Casa Sperantei provides specialist training: competencies in palliative care for physicians, a multidisciplinary masters degree, courses for medical and nursing students and online palliative care courses for physicians. We also cater for nurses, the multidisciplinary hospice team, other palliative care providers and ‘trainers of trainers’.
International collaboration is vital. HOSPICE Casa Sperantei is part of the European Academy of Palliative Care, a project of ‘The Robert Bosch Stiftung’, together with King’s College London (United Kingdom), University of Cologne (Germany) and Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun (Poland). We are also a member of the International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care and cooperate closely with the European Association for Palliative Care and the International Children’s Palliative Care Network.
At the heart of our work is a desire to disseminate our experience; this is demonstrated by our two education and resource centres, the Princess Diana Centre in Brasov and the Nicholas Edeleanu Centre in Bucharest. To me, these represent the engine of the educational movement initiated by HOSPICE Casa Serantei in Romania and in South-eastern Europe.
Welcoming colleagues from across the region is an important and enjoyable part of our work. More than 12,000 medical and non-medical staff have now been trained from 19 countries in Southeast Europe and Asia. Our courses are available in Romanian, English and Russian. Education in English includes multidisciplinary courses for individuals and teams, courses for trainers of trainers as well as opportunities for clinical placements and exchange visits for teams. We also offer international mentoring for leaders in palliative care, and a range of workshops covering standards, competencies, costing care services, research and opioids in pain management. We hope that more readers from Europe will also want to join us.
In 1999, when I joined the education programme, there were just 21 of us in the Brasov team. Our challenge was to open new paths: to develop the first competencies course, the first national palliative care conference and the first partners willing to support us. Now, there are 150 friends in the HOSPICE Casa Sperantei family. For the past seven years I managed the fundraising for our hospice, raising it to a level that is recognised nationally. In 2012, I came back into education. This gives me the chance to see, understand and make visible to the world the tremendous achievements of the past 20 years, to meet long-time partners in the region as well as new supporters and, most important, to make people understand that terminally ill patients have the right to enjoy life.
COMING UP… Please follow the blog tomorrow and learn more about the work of our Children’s Holiday Club in Bucharest