Kia ora koutou,
Prof Puchalski had three speaking occasions in Dunedin this last week (1st week in Oct, 2013). A medical round was well attended, 50 poeple plus, heard about the place of spirituality in medical education. Such courses and integrated approaches happen in 80% of US and many other med schools around the world.
The second occasion was a talk at the Otago Community Hospice, where another 50 or so people heard about spirituality in palliative care. A highlight was 30 minutes of discussion.
Lastly, we had a ‘spirituality in healthcare symposium’, a three hour session with Prof Puchalski giving a key note, three local presenters (Dr Anna Holmes, Mei-Ling Blank & Richard Egan), and then a panel with all of the above and included Father Mark Chamberlain (local RC priest) and Grahame Tosh (medical leader Otago Hospice). It was a great night with 60-70 people, lots of interesting discussions and ideas for improving spiritual care in healthcare. Some key ideas included growing spiritual care training in all healthcare professional training, in-service professional development, affirm existing spiritual care that is happening by many current healthcare professionals, develop good policy on spiritual care, and advocate for the place of spirituality in healthcare.
Lots of interesting aspects in these talks – an evidence informed broad defintion of spirituality, spiritual needs explored, and ways of approaching spiritual care.