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Living and Dying in East Africa

Judith A. Paice
Betty Ferrell
Nessa Coyle
Patrick J. Coyne
Thomas J. Smith
CJON 2010, 14(2), 161-166 DOI: 10.1188/10.CJON.161-166

Education about palliative care is crucial for oncology nurses, particularly in the developing world, where most patients present with advanced disease and heavy symptom burden. The End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium-International training program was implemented in Tanzania to provide nurses with the knowledge, expertise, and tools to better care for the dying and to educate others. The curriculum was presented to 39 participants over three days, including didactic presentations, small group discussions, and role play. None of the participants had received previous formal palliative care training. The participants rated their impression of the course as excellent. Follow-up at eight months yielded similar findings regarding the effectiveness of the curriculum. International education regarding palliative care for those with cancer requires an understanding of different disease patterns and clinical practices, along with cultural humility and empathy. These experiences are extraordinarily enriching, giving nurses a unique perspective on palliative care that ultimately informs their own practice.

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