Name of the activity: Life and Death – Grantham Hospital Hospice Centre Visit

Country/NMO: China (Hong Kong) (AMSAHK)

Program: Ethics & Human Rights in Health

Contact information: [email protected] ,phone number: +852 54054087

Type of the activity: Capacity Building (Training or Workshop). Teaching and develop knowledge, skills and techniques in a particular field. While training can have any form, workshops are more formal and also include exchange of information between participants.

General description:

Life and Death – Grantham Hospital Hospice Centre Visit is a service activity for medical students in Hong Kong. Owing to the lack of palliative care professionals in Hong Kong, medical students do not have much exposure to terminally ill patients. There are 5 main events in the activity, namely the Life and Death Workshop, Infection Control Training Workshop, Grantham Hospital Training Workshop, Ward Visits and Life Story Project. Our objective is to accompany these patients through this time and try our best to alleviate their suffering through kindness, listening, and positive words and activities. For participants, they can learn through experience the skills of conversing with a terminally-ill patient and understand patients’ state of mind during this special stage of life. Hence, this project aims to develop medical students’ empathy and communication skills through a service directed towards the emotional needs of Grantham Hospital patients.

Focus area:

Medical Ethics (Patient Centered Care, Good Medical Practice, direct doctor-patient relationship)

Problem statement:

In Hong Kong, the end-of-life care is severely lacking, with only 19 palliative care specialists in the city. Palliative care is not provided in private hospitals. There is generally a low awareness in the city towards palliative care. To add on, medical students in Hong Kong do not have enough exposure to end-of-life issues and palliative care experience. So, we hope to raise medical students’ awareness towards palliative care, and increase their exposure to terminally ill patients.

Target groups:

Medical students

Beneficiaries:

Medical students, Elderly people, Terminally ill patients

Objectives and indicators of success:

1. To develop medical students’ empathy and communication skills through a service directed towards the emotional needs of patients // participants are required to fill in online survey form after each ward visit, self-rating of their performance will be included in the survey. We will analyse the data to see whether the participants show improvement. Moreover, during the activity, project coordinators will observe participants’ attitude towards those patients throughout the process, which will be compared between that in pre-trip workshop and the last ward visit.

2. To accompany terminally ill patients through hard time and to alleviate their suffering through kindness, listening, and positive words // We will collect feedback from those patients and their family members, and do a comparison of their feelings and impression towards the participants between the first service and the last service. Largely positive feedbacks would indicate a success of the activity.

Methodology:

The first event is Life and Death Workshop, in which topics related to death issue will be discussed with the participants. Through “will writing”, participants can put themselves into patients’ shoes, thus show more understanding for the patients’ condition and wishes.

The second event is communication skills training, participants will be taught appropriate communicating skills when interacting with terminally ill patients and their family members

Follow by, it will be the ward visits. Participants would carry out various activities with the terminally ill patients and have deep chats with them.

The final event is the Life Story Project, it aims to create a tangible result of this service as a gift to patients and to the Hospital, as a reminder of the value and depth of human life. The gift is in the form of a publication depicting the interviews of patients regarding their life experiences. This can let medical students reflect upon the medical ethics that they should uphold

Plans for evaluation:

Participants are required to fill in online survey form after each ward visit, self-rating of their performance will be included in the survey. We will analyse the data to see whether the participants show improvement. Moreover, during the activity, project coordinators will observe participants’ attitude towards those patients throughout the process, which will be compared between that in pre-trip workshop and the last ward visit.

We will also collect feedback from those patients and their family members, and do a comparison of their feelings and impression towards the participants between the first service and the last service.

Improvements will be made in the future according to the opinions collected from the participants and patients.