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P-257 Educating the next generation of hospice professionals
  1. Wendy Green,
  2. Angie Pymm,
  3. Jackie Somerville and
  4. Kate Phillips
  1. The North London Hospice, London, UK


Introduction At one time, the hospice offered work experience placements to 16–17 year-olds who were interested in pursuing a career in nursing, medicine or one of the allied health professions. These placements had to be discontinued due to the high number of learners on the ward, but we continued to receive many requests for placements. To channel this interest in the hospice, we developed a summer school programme.

Aim To provide a fun, interactive introduction to hospice care for young learners with the primary aim of helping them decide if this is the right career path for them and to assist them to enhance their CV in preparation for a UCAS application. The secondary aim was to increase awareness of the hospice in the local community and to dispel commonly held myths.

Approach We designed a three-day course, to enable learners to experience palliative care from the perspective of both the professional and the patient. Sessions were planned to incorporate various teaching methods to engage and stimulate the learners.

Evaluation The feedback was extremely positive and participants stated that the experience had changed their views about the hospice ‘in a positive way’, that it had provided a ‘valuable experience’ and had confirmed their commitment to a career in healthcare. As practice educators, we found the experience of teaching young adults was not without its challenges nor was it without its rewards.

Conclusion Summer school is a meaningful addition to our education programme and due to this success, is to be extended in the future to cover other school holidays. Summer school has also proved to be a valuable opportunity to promote the philosophy of palliative care to those of a younger generation.

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