Author: Ana Puig, Emi Lenes, Monika Ardelt, Jean Theurer, Jasmine Brooke Ulmer, Angela Calderon and Louis A Ritz Publication Year: 2015
Summary: Clinical and research literature in medical education indicates a dearth of opportunities to adequately and competently prepare pre-medical and pre-healthcare professionals to attend to the needs of dying patients. This study explores the outcomes of an innovative palliative care program.
Description: Clinical and research literature in medical education indicates a dearth of opportunities to adequately and competently prepare young pre-medical and pre-healthcare professionals to attend to the needs of dying patients, especially youths and their families. This study aimed to explore outcomes of an innovative palliative care program on 142 past and present pre-medical and pre-healthcare student volunteers. Results of the mixed-methods study indicate that the Streetlight program significantly impacted these student volunteers’ sense of empathy, compassion, and comfort in attending to dying adolescents and young adults. Qualitative themes included the following: leadership vision, investment among members, member characteristics, relationship with self, learning about others, learning about professions, learning about the healthcare system, spirituality, appreciation for life, and emotional connections. Given the apparent lessons reported by the past and present student members who participated in the study, the Streetlight program may be a viable model for introducing pre-medical and pre-healthcare students to compassionate palliative care.
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