Department of Oncology, Ivano-Frankivsk National Medical University
Improving the patient’s quality of life by creating comfortable conditions in the oral cavity: hydration as a key to reducing the suffering of a palliative patient
According to WHO’s Global Health Coverage Policy, my project is to teach medical students, palliative patients and their families the proper care of the oral cavity to eliminate the symptoms of oral dryness and complete natural hydration of the patient’s body.
As a result of the analysis of complaints and symptoms of patients who require palliative care, I have concluded that oral care is very important for palliative patients. Many of them have troubles with breathing; can no longer take food on their own, so it is important that the oral cavity should be kept in good condition. It is necessary to overcome problems with oral dryness, stomatitis, etc. At the same time, the care should be very careful and correct for the patient. Caregivers need to know about the patient likes and what should not be done for them. We have to take into account the wishes of the patient about how often these procedures should be and how they will be performed. Everything is done in order not to cause the person unnecessary discomfort. Another important thing is the dosage in small portions but the maximum possible natural hydration of the patient’s body.
The group of teachers of Ivano-Frankivsk National Medical University conducted anonymous testing for palliative care knowledge and a survey of the students at the Department of Medicine and College of Medicine, which provide training in nursing.
he results of the analysis showed that:
• 23% of students of Medical Department and 14% of students of Medical College have a certain level of knowledge in palliative care.
• 65% of students of Medical Department and 82% of students of Medical College expressed a desire to study the subject “Palliative care”.
I have prepared and submitted a proposal to introduce palliative care in the students’ curriculum.
On November 15, 2019, the meeting was held with the Rector of the University of Medicine, the Director of College of Medicine and the University’s staff who support the idea of developing this type of care for patients.
The management of our University has decided to include this subject as an optional in the curriculum of students of Medical College in nursing training.
• Introduction of the subject “Palliative care” as an optional into the curriculum of Medical College students in order to develop skills and knowledge of future nurses.
• Curriculum development and provision of palliative care literature.
• Conducting lectures and practical classes with students.
• Formation of a group of teachers who will teach this discipline as an optional once in 2 weeks.
• Forming a team of volunteer students to assist patients and their care relatives.
• Collaboration with hospice to exchange experiences, develop knowledge and skills of
• Collaboration with family doctors as primary care providers, provide counseling and the
supervision of palliative patients.
To relieve and eliminate the symptom of oral dryness and improve the quality of natural hydration of the body of the palliative patient, we have prepared ice cubes with frozen drinks, which are mostly loved by the sick (coffee, green and black tea, juice, water with lemon juice). Volunteering students and I visited 7 palliative patients and offered them frozen cubes as a method of combating oral dryness by taking into account patients’ wishes and tastes.
It was very effective and successful!
Patients and their relatives were satisfied with this method.
We decided to introduce this project as a recommendation for patient care families, family doctors and patients as one of the methods of combating oral dryness and a possible method of natural hydration of the patient’s body.