By David F. Rooney
It’s an unavoidable fact of life: death comes for all of us eventually but even so, it is often traumatic for its victims and their families. Dealing with them is often so emotionally and psychologically difficult that it can require special training, which is now available through Okanagan College.
Taught by Registered Nurse Jackie Goodman, the college’s new two-part Palliative Care certification program lasts 60 hours and starts on Sept. 23. The first part, Understanding Palliative Care, provides students with an over-view of the field. The second part, Caring for the Terminally Ill, helps students hone the skills and knowledge they need to support individuals and their families who are experiencing dying , death and bereavement.
“This is a holistic program,” she said in an interview. “It teaches students how to help both the patients and their families.”
The course explores the stages of the emotional cycle that both the dying and their families journey through: guilt, anger, bargaining, despair, denial and acceptance.
“Death brings out the best — and the worst — in people,” Goodman said. “Sometimes people can’t get past certain stages in the cycle but by working with a patient and their family, trained hospice and palliative-care workers can help them do that.”
To find out more about this program please call Okanagan College at 250-837-4235 or go to the college’s website.