Palliative Care

By Kevin Branigan - Last update


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Palliative Care

Palliative (or end-of- life) Care is a difficult job. With a range of courses to support you in embarking on a tough but rewarding career, getting qualified can help you understand one of the most challenging, but rewarding jobs in healthcare.

What is Palliative care

Palliative care is the field of medicine related to people with life-limiting or terminal illness. This can often be distressing for both patients and specialists, who deal with difficult circumstances. It refers to the aim of treatment without cure, which is often used for late- stage cancer and other incurable illnesses.

There are two types of palliative courses available. If you would like to specialise in caring for people who are suffering from serious illness, then there are many options. These courses teach skills such as:

  • Pain management

Pain management for people in palliative care is important. Often, conditions can cause large amounts of pain. This pain must be managed efficiently with medication. There are different types of pain that carers will need to deal
with, from physical pain, to the emotional pain of patients, friends and families.

  • Specialist skills

No matter who the patient, palliative care is very difficult. Whether you are dealing with younger patients or patients who are much older, each type of patient needs different care. Learning these skills on a course is beneficial to students and patients alike.

If you would prefer to study the medical aspects of palliative care and diagnosis, there are also choices.

  • Examining the spiritual side of palliative care

Looking into the effects of death on society. People who are in palliative care know that they will die. The opportunity to explore this mentality can be interesting to psychologists as well as carers looking to help patients feel better.

  • Examining the medical aspects of palliative care

Looking at end-of- life care through the lens of cancer can be informative. Looking at terminal illness from a medical perspective rather than an emotional one can be educational.

How can I qualify?

With a range of certificate options, qualifying as a specialist in palliative care is easy. With short courses and distance learning options, gaining a certificate can fit into your schedule. There are various certificate options to choose from.

Most certificate options aim to help you learn how to deal with challenges of working in palliative care. In addition to learning about pain management and how to deal with the day-to- day aspects of intensive care work, you will learn about additional aspects of care. Some courses will but this work into focus by specializing in the care of older people or cancer sufferers.

What can I do with a certificate in Palliative care?

If you would like to work in the personal care sector and are looking for a major challenge, then a course in palliative care can provide training and information on a difficult career choice. An official qualification will allow you to go on and work in the sector – or count towards taking a degree in a related field, if you want to continue studying.

Most carers work in nursing homes or in the case of palliative carers, hospices. These are dedicated centres designed to help with patients who need pain relief rather than treatment. Learning to handle working in these environments is important and part of being a successful career.

While palliative care is difficult, it can also be rewarding, and is very important for people who have to experience it. If you think that you can provide the care and support to patients and families who are going through a very difficult time, then a course in palliative care could be right for you.


Kevin Branigan

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