Gilly Burn asks nurses to communicate with patients

SHILLONG, Oct 15: Gilly Burn, a palliative care nurse-pioneer from UK said that she was very passionate about communication in patient care.

Burn was the chief guest at a workshop on Palliative Care and “Communication skills – Bridging the gap” organised by the department of Anaesthesiology & Critical care in collaboration with CNE (Cell) NEIGRIHMS recently.

According to her, Palliative Care is very personal even as she added that nursing has a huge impact on the patients and important role in moralize what people feel when they hear harsh words coming from nurses and doctors.

Urging the nurses present to make a difference, Burn said, “A machine is a machine and you can train anyone to operate a ventilator. The fact is you cannot train a monkey to be compassionate. That is why the nurses are important in Palliative Care.”

She was one of the prime instigators in setting up the Indian Association of Palliative Care, and is an expert on palliative care society in India.

The Director NEIGRIHMS Prof (Dr.) D. M. Thappa, lauded the role of nursing in palliative care, particularly in terminally ill patients.

“There is a need for empathy towards the patients,” Prof (Dr) Thappa said.

He spoke on the problems people face as patients who are diagnosed with cancer. According to the Director, the main problem when one is diagnosed with cancer is breaking the news, telling them of the outcome.

He reminded the participants to always give hope to the person no matter what, help them to cope with whatever comes.

Prof (Dr) Bhattacharya HOD Anaesthesiology and I/C palliative care unit in NEIGRIHMS spoke about CNE not being merely a teaching/ training session but it must impact a living enactment of the lecture and as people when one learn new things from workshops, and must be put into practise.

“Let us come together take the burden of patients suffering, let us share the joys and sorrows with the people suffering with cancer,” the HOD said.

The main topics at the workshop included concept of palliative care and communication, nursing assessment, pain control in palliative care, importance of end of life care and roles of nurses and communication skills.

There was also a screening of a movie inspired by a true story, centered on a 27-year-old guy who learns of his cancer diagnosis, and his subsequent struggle to beat the disease.

Participants, who attended the workshop included doctors, medical social workers and nurses from various hospitals.

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