Integration of Palliative care in undergraduate and postgraduate training programs in Albania

Irena Laska
“Mary Potter” Palliative Care Center Korça, Director, formator îngrijiri paliative, Albania

Received: 18.11.2019 • Accepted for publication: 30.12.2019

Abstract

In Albania Palliative Care (PC) services started in 1993 with three teams that operated as NGO’s. One of them was “Mary Potter” PC team in the southeastern part, “Sue Ryder” care in the central part and “Caritas”, operated in the north part of the country. PC at home was the main service offered by these teams from the beginning on. “Mary Potter” is the only hospice in the country with 8 beds offering only day services and has three departments: Home Care, Hospice care and Education.

These days, 11 new PC units operate in regional hospitals all over Albania. During the years PC in Albania had to face a lot of challenges among these: increased number of people in need for PC, lack of funds, lack of knowledge and education of healthcare personnel and other professionals about PC, and lack of stakeholders’ interest to integrate PC in the public health care. “Mary Potter” PC Center/Hospice is the only educational center to train PC for healthcare professionals all over the country. Since 2017 up to now 10.420 healthcare professionals have been trained. The staff has organized various training sessions with in total 73 graduates. The efforts to develop PC have resulted in the approval of a Law on PC delivery. Pc is now integrated in undergraduate and postgraduate training programs and a mandatory subject in the curriculums of the Faculties of Nursing. In the academic year 2019-2020, a Master of Sciences in PC program started at the Nursing Faculty in Tirana.

Keywords: palliative care, education, nursing, training programs

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