Palliative Care Gaining Spotlight
Reflecting growing interest in end-of-life care, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital's first Palliative Care Symposium drew nearly 150 attendees, representing a wide range of healthcare professionals, at precisely the time the topic was receiving broad national attention.
"We were very pleased with both the number and cross-section of attendees," said Linda Wilson, RN, MSN, PhD(c), Education Specialist, Nursing Service, who coordinated the event with Terri Maxwell, RN, MSN, Executive Director, Center for Palliative Care, Department of Family Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University. "In addition to more than 100 nurses, a good number of doctors, social workers and other professionals attended."
The coordinators immediately scheduled the second annual symposium for September 12, 2001. "Our decision to make this an annual symposium reflects the need for continuing professional education in palliative care," said Ms. Wilson.
Coincides with National Spotlight
This year's symposium was especially timely because it coincided with two other, high-profile national events focusing on end-of-life care. One was PBS' broadcast of "On Our Own Terms," a four-part documentary series hosted by Bill Moyers. The other was the publication of a Time magazine cover story, which included several comments from the symposium's keynote speaker, Ira R. Byock, MD, Director, Palliative Care Service, Missoula, Montana, and author of Dying Well: The Prospect for Growth at the End of Life.
The symposium featured a total of seven speakers, all of whom stressed a clear theme: the need for palliative care to be integrated into today's medical and nursing curricula.