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Video on what medical school does not teach hospice doctors

13 March 2018

A video produced by St Luke’s Hospice in Plymouth shows what student doctors can learn from a hospice that is not taught at medical school.

The short film features the hospice’s palliative care consultant Dr Doug Hooper and medical students talking about the experiences they have gained at St Luke’s Hospice.

Up to 100 students undertake placements at the hospice each year, with approximately three attending each week. The placements enable them to learn about different aspects of palliative care, from spending time with patients and their families to working with the community team.  

In the video the students talk about their first visit to the hospice, from describing surprise at its “homely touches” to make people feel comfortable such as patterned quilts and pictures, to the experience of handling a dead body for the first time. As one student explains, initially this was very daunting, but has made her feel less nervous about the task in the future.

For many, being in a hospice for the first time can be intimidating, as they are unsure how to interact with the patients and their loved ones. By spending time with people at the hospice they are able to learn how to have difficult conversations. “Most people want to be treated as if they are not dying” a student says.

 “Ultimately a patient is going to take their whole life experience and put it in your hands” says another, “and I think the only thing you can do in return is to understand that they have that whole life experience, and you have to consider it all as well.”

For more information visit St Luke’s Hospice

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