How Does Culture Show? A Case Study of an International and Interprofessional Course in Palliative Care
Rasmussen, Birgit H
Journal of interprofessional care 2009; 23(5): 474-85
Research shows slow improvement of the care of dying persons and their significant others. One of the reasons for that is the lack of palliative care education as an integral part of health professionals' undergraduate education. The paper discusses an attempt to develop innovative forms of palliative care education: an international, interprofessional and IT-supported undergraduate course for Swedish and Slovenian students of nursing, medicine, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, psychology and social work, which has been developed jointly by the two authors. One of the aims of the course has been to address differences in professional and national cultures relevant to quality in palliative care. The development and pilot implementation phases of the course were analysed qualitatively, using evaluation materials from students and teachers and from an external evaluation study. The results show that the interprofessional approach in the course enabled students to get to know other professions, as well as enabling them to work together as a team and resolve conflicts. Cultural differences between Sweden and Slovenia were not very pronounced, yet they came to the fore regarding teamwork and relationships between professions, as well as in respect of the "right thing" to do in relation to patient' problems.
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