Carrie Cormack, DNP, APRN
Joining with Palliative Care nurses and providers from around the world, sharing their passion for caring for children with serious illness is a life changing experience. While the barriers and opportunities from each country may differ, the value of and commitment to the importance of pediatric palliative care is the same. I am honored to learn from and share with all the fellows and faculty in this beautiful setting. Thank you for this opportunity.
This year’s Palliative Care (ELNEC) seminar was held from September 4-10, 2022, at Schloss Arenberg in Salzburg. 33 fellows from nine different countries were present, and unlike other OMI courses, this seminar was exclusively for nursing professionals. The course brought together nurses from countries in Central and Eastern Europe as well as the former Soviet Union to discuss all aspects of palliative care and nursing. The seminar faculty presented several lessons from the End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) curriculum.
The course was led by Betty Ferrell, RN, PhD, MA, FAAN, FPCN, CHPN from the USA, Professor and Director of Nursing Research and Education and Principal Investigator of ELNEC at City of Hope. Additional US faculty included Carrie L. Cormack, DNP, APRN, CPNP-BC, Patrick Coyne, MSN, ACHPN, ACNS-BC, FPCN, FAAN, and Judith A. Paice, RN, PhD, FAAN. The faculty was concluded by Nicoleta Mitrea, APRN, MSc, PhD from Romania.
The ELNEC project began 22 years ago and has since trained clinicians in all 50 American states and in 101 countries. ELNEC has a train-the-trainer design, in which clinicians gain knowledge in palliative care and teaching skills so they can return to their own countries and clinical settings to train others. ELNEC has educated over 45,737 trainers who have taught over 1.4 million clinicians, drastically impacting the care of patients and families facing serious illness and the end of life.
The ELNEC team has been supported by the OMI for many years. During the Palliative Care (ELNEC) seminar, participants were trained in vital aspects of care including pain and symptom management, communication, cultural considerations, ethical concerns, and care at the time of death. ELNEC courses cover all ages of patients, from pediatrics through geriatric care. This week’s course included ample amount of time for a leadership workshop and the opportunity for participants to present country presentations, which focused on topics such as plans for implementing and disseminating ELNEC, addressing current barriers to care, and development of an action plan.
Wednesday afternoon provided free time for participants to get some rest and relaxation, as well as explore Salzburg and the surrounding areas. Friday evening concluded the formal seminar activities with a lovely graduation ceremony and the receipt of ELNEC pins and certificates.