What our courses offer

While our courses are particularly relevant to South Africa and countries in sub Saharan Africa they also have global relevance. The courses offer an interactive and immersive experience and encourage participants to reflect on their own experiences caring for children with palliative care needs. Short quizzes, activities, videos and revision exercises interspersed through the courses will help to hold your interest and to instill new knowledge.

Continuing Professional Development Points

Our available course have been assigned General or Ethics Continuing Education Units (CEUs) by The Colleges of Medicine of South Africa for the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Programme of the Health Professionals Council of South Africa (HPCSA).

Three of our courses have been assigned CPD points by the Council for Pastoral and Spiritual Counsellors (CPSC).

These are:

  • Cultural Competence and Spiritual Care (3 General and 2 Ethics CPD points)
  • Communication in Children’s Palliative Care (3 General points)
  • Supporting Grieving Children in the Time of COVID-19 (4 General CPD points)

Two of our courses have been assigned CPD points from the South African Council for Social Service Professions (SACSSP).

These are:

  • Communication in Children’s Palliative Care (2.5 CPD points for Social Workers)
  • Psychosocial Support in Children’s Palliative Care (3 CPD points for Social Workers)

Group / Organisation Discounts

We offer discounted fees to groups and organisations

We know that times can be tough and we are looking for ways to support organisations and charities who work with children with palliative care needs. We are very happy to offer a group discount on the price of our courses as follows:

  • For 3 or more members of staff or people affiliated to an organisation we will offer a 10% discount
  • For 10 or more members of staff or people affiliated to an organisation we offer a 15% discount

 Contact us

Should you wish to chat to us to negotiate a price for your organisation, please contact Sue on info@patchsa.org or phone her on 0823744632

Introducing Children’s Palliative Care

Price: FREE

This course offers anyone working with or caring for children who have life-threatening or life-limiting conditions a comprehensive overview of palliative care for children. The course is particularly relevant to South Africa and countries in sub Saharan Africa but still has global relevance. This introductory course offers an interactive and immersive experience and encourages participants to reflect on their own experiences caring for vulnerable children. Short quizzes and revision exercises through the course will help to keep your interest and instill knowledge.  The course covers the following key elements:

  • A brief history of palliative care and children’s palliative care
  • What is palliative care
  • The need for children’s palliative care in South Africa and globally
  • Definitions and descriptions of palliative care for children
  • What makes children’s palliative care unique
  • Key components of children’s palliative care
  • Who provides children’s palliative care
  • Settings for the provision of children’s palliative care

FREE

CPD Points
Level 1: 5 General CEUs from CMSA

Why take the course?
“Children are not little adults, and while the principles of palliative care remain the same for all, it is each unique child – from the tiny neonate to the maturing teenager – who directs the way palliative care is provided for them; always within the framework of childhood development, their changing understanding, and the impact of the condition on the child and their family. In order to gain a deeper understanding of the key principles of this fascinating subject I encourage you to complete the Patch Academy online course, Introducing Children’s Palliative Care, to gain a comprehensive and deeper understanding of the way children experience serious illness and dying, their different forms of expression and communication and how health care providers working together with the child and family help each child to enjoy the best possible quality of life.”
Joan Marston
International Children’s Palliative Care Advocate
Founder of Sunflower Children’s Hospice
Co-Chair of PALLCHASE

 

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Supporting Grieving Children in the Time of COVID-19

Price: FREE

We are in the midst of a global pandemic which has had an enormous impact on South Africans both young and old. Sadly some families already have or will experience the death of a loved one. The death may be due to COVID-19 or it may be completely unrelated. It’s natural to want to protect children when someone they love dies; however, we need to talk to children to help them feel safer and more in control. The best thing to do is to provide them with honest, age-appropriate information about death. It’s painful to see a child upset, but children cope better with sad news when they are told the truth. Helping children understand death and grief will vary depending on the child’s age and developmental stage.

This course covers the following key elements:

  • Define the terms loss, grief, mourning and bereavement
  • Understand how children will experience secondary and cumulative losses during this time of COVID-19
  • Differentiate between the different types of grief
  • Understand the ways in which children grieve
  • Describe the grief reactions children and adolescents display
  • Describe how children understand death and dying
  • Know how to discuss death with a child
  • Know how to support children who are grieving at this time of COVID-19

FREE

CPD Points
Level 1: 2 Ethics CEUs and 2 General CEUs from CMSA (4 in total)
4 General CPD pts from CPSC

Why take the course?
“I would recommend this informative and relevant course to family members, grieving communities and bereavement counsellors. The course describes the realities of children and teens who grieve a loved one during COVID-19. The information is comprehensive, practical, and needed in a time that many of our children experience losses to their lives.”
Dr Welly den Hollander 
Medical Social Worker and Narrative Therapist

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Communication in Children’s Palliative Care

Price: R350

This course offers people working with or caring for children who have life-threatening or life-limiting conditions knowledge on how to improve their communication skills both privately and within a work environment, with an emphasis on the unique skills needed when working with children needing palliative care and their families. The course covers the following key elements:

  • What is communication, communication styles and the value of being a good communicator
  • Skills needed to communicate effectively within a broad spectrum of healthcare settings
  • How to prepare for and hold difficult conversations, including how to break bad news to children and families
  • Communicating with newly bereaved and grieving parents and family members
  • Appropriate communication with children of different ages and stages of development
  • How to talk to children about their own illness and death
  • Making the best use of internet connectivity when providing palliative care to children

R350

CPD Points
Level 1: 5 General CEUs from CMSA
3 General from CPSC
2.5 points from SACSSP for Social Workers

Why take the course?
“Communication is an essential part of life and a crucial factor in medical care. Within a palliative care scenario, it is even more imperative. The Patch Academy module on communication highlights why this is so important and provides key information on how to talk to caregivers and children about goals of care as well as breaking bad news. This is an area many of us struggle with and the information within this module will change the way you practice.”
Tracey Brand

Director,  Co-Founder and Medical Social Worker
Umduduzi Hospice Care for Children

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Assessing and Managing Children’s Pain

Price: R450

This course offers people working with or caring for children who have life-threatening or life-limiting conditions knowledge on how to recognise, assess and manage pain in children, with particular relevance to children with life-threatening and life-limiting illnesses. The course covers the following key elements:

  • The meaning of total pain.
  • Definitions and classifications of pain according to duration, type and cause.
  • How to recognise pain in children.
  • Types of pain children experience.
  • How to complete a thorough pain assessment.
  • How to use age appropriate pain rating scales.
  • General principles of pain management.
  • Using morphine and co-analgesics.
  • Managing procedural pain in children and neonates.

R450

CPD Points
Level 1: 6 General CEUs from CMSA

Why take the course?
“This interactive module on assessing and managing pain in children, covers everything you need to know to improve the quality of life for children in pain. For too long children’s pain has been under recognised, underestimated and therefore under treated. Informative, fun and easy to complete, this module is absolutely essential for anyone working with children in healthcare.”
Dr Julia Ambler

Deputy Director, Co-Founder and Head of Clinical Services
Umduduzi Hospice Care for Children

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Teamwork, Managing Conflict and Self-Care

Price: R250

This course offers people working with or caring for children who have life-threatening or life-limiting conditions knowledge on working as a team, caring for yourself so that you are the best team member you can be and how to manage conflict. The information is of particular relevance to teams and people caring for and working with children needing palliative care and their families. The course covers the following key elements:

  • Knowledge about how teams function
  • Types of teams
  • Working as an effective member of a healthcare team
  • Recognition of the importance of open, honest and empathetic communication between team members
  • Recognise and managing conflict between the team and the patient or parents
  • Recognising signs and managing symptoms of burnout and compassion fatigue
  • Ways to take care of yourself physically, emotionally, spiritually and socially

R250

CPD Points
Level 1: 3 General CEUs from CMSA

Why take the course?
“Think of this module as your essential vaccination. Teamwork, managing conflict and self-care might sound like the “fluffy” non-essential side of paediatric palliative medicine and the module with topics that you most want to avoid. I’d encourage you to pause and sign up, since the “how to” in these essential areas is key. The hard truth remains that if you don’t care for yourself you cannot care for others. If you insist on working in silos your patient outcomes will likely suffer and if you don’t foster trusting respectful relationships with patients, families and colleagues then both professional and personal relationships will likely disintegrate! This module will give you practical and helpful tips and will provide a foundation for patient centred care which is truly about the human being in front of you and the human being within you. Be brave – this chapter is the foundation for putting the health back into healthcare”
Melissa Williams-Platt

Bereaved Mother and Palliative Care Coach
Co-Founder and Trustee
Footprints for Sam

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Cultural Competency and Spiritual Care

Price: R350

This course provides a comprehensive overview of the need and value of developing cultural competence both as an individual and for organisations. Cultural competency ensures that patients feel respected, heard and safe to continue accessing services that are provided. The need to provide often neglected spiritual support and care to children with serious illnesses and to their families cannot be over stated. There are times when medical practitioners have done everything they know to control pain and yet find it is intractable. It is important for them to recognise that spiritual pain is very real and needs to be addressed with their patients. This course covers the following topics:

  • The relevance of culture when providing palliative care to children and their families
  • The need to develop cultural competence.
  • The differences and similarities between spirituality and religion.
  • Ways in which children express their spirituality.
  • The signs of spiritual suffering in children and adults.
  • Assessment of spirituality and spiritual needs in children and family members
  • The spiritual needs of children with a serious illness.
  • Planning for and providing spiritual care to children with a life-limiting illness and their families.
  • Providing spiritual care to adolescents
  • Providing spiritual care at the time of death.
  • Providing spiritual care to bereaved families.

R350

CPD Points
Level 1: 5 Ethics CEUs from CMSA
3 General and 2 Ethics CPD points from CPSC

Why take the course?
“From birth children are spiritual beings, and their spirituality is both experienced and expressed as connections to their developing self-awareness, to others, to nature and to something or Someone greater than themselves. Spiritual care helps them to find meaning and purpose in their lives, especially important when they have a life-limiting illness. Children are also affected by their cultural environment, which helps to build their identity. Cultural interactions may change, and include the culture of childhood and of the health care system.”
Joan Marston

International Children’s Palliative Care Advocate
Founder of Sunflower Children’s Hospice
Co-Chair of PALLCHASE

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Psychosocial Support in Children’s Palliative Care

Price: R350

Palliative care for children is holistic in nature so being able to provide psychological and social support to children with pallaitive care needs and to their family members is imperative. We acknowledge that it is sometimes easier to prescribe a medication to relieve physical pain than it is to help a child and family overcome their psychological and social problems or to help heal their spiritual pain and distress. This course provides you with the knowledge, the tools and the skills to assess psychosocial issues seriously ill children and their families face and provides excellent guidance on how to walk alongside and support them through one of life’s most difficult journeys. Key elements covered within the course include:

  • Understanding the need for psychological and social support for children and families
  • Developing a helping relationship with the child and family
  • Accessing and harnessing community support for the child and family
  • Assessing and providing for a sick child’s psychosocial needs
  • Assessing and providing psychosocial support for the family, including siblings
  • Supportive therapies used in children’s palliative care
  • Supporting the right of children to continue their education
  • Understanding the value and importance of play for children with palliative care needs.

R350  

CPD Points
Level 1: 6 CEUs (4 Ethics and 2 General) from CMSA
3 CPD points from SACSSP

Why take the course?
“I was excited and grateful for the insight provided on this topic as it is relevant and much needed in society today. This course provides a comprehensive overview of the care needed when working with children with life-threatening and life-limiting illnesses and their families. It is empowering, equipping and user friendly. Information is well presented and flows well, engaging the learner with clear outcomes, well defined terminology, relevant videos, related articles, assessment tools, theory and quizzes which all supported and reinforced learning. The information provided is a manual and tool on how to equip and support children, families and extended communities which include NGOs dealing with children and families, organisations, Child and Youth Care Centres, community workers, faith based organisations and educators. The impact of this work will be far reaching.”
Ruth King
Social Worker
Child & Youth Care Centre

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Ethics and Decision Making in Children’s Palliative Care

Price: R350

All children are vulnerable and those with a serious illness or disability even more so. Moreover, decisions are made for children by others (by proxy), who are usually their parents or other caregivers. There are many difficult decisions that have to be made when providing care to children with life-limiting and life-threatening illnesses. These include life and death decisions, such as whether or not to withhold or withdraw certain treatments.

Sometimes doctors adopt a paternalistic approach and tell the parents what to do and sometimes parents, who are influenced by their emotions and their fear of losing the child, will tell the doctors what to do. There is a significant risk that decisions may not necessarily be made in the best interests of the child and that the child may not have a say in this. It is therefore important that an ethical framework be applied to provision and decision making in children’s palliative care.

By the end of this course you should be able to:

  • Define morals and ethics.
  • Understand children’s rights.
  • Describe the importance of medical ethics in children’s palliative care.
  • Know what the relevant South African laws are regarding children and decision making in healthcare.
  • Recognise an ethical dilemma.
  • Understand why it is important to manage an ethical dilemma well.
  • Know who should be involved in decision making for children in palliative care.
  • Use an ethical framework to address an ethical dilemma.
  • Appreciate the benefit of disclosure and avoiding collusion regarding a diagnosis.
  • Know when it is ethical to withhold or withdraw treatment.
  • Understand the doctrine of double effect and that euthanasia is not part of palliative care.

R350

CPD Points
Level 1: 6 CEUs (Ethics) from CMSA

Why take the course?
“The PatchSA course on Ethics and Palliative Care is excellent. It takes the learner through all the important aspects of ethics, children’s rights, and the law regarding children, particularly in the context of palliative care. Apart from the core module contents, many links and additional resources provide interesting information and reading. Discussion of ethical dilemmas and actual cases provides additional interest and learning opportunities. Each section revises the core knowledge through quizzes and questions. The ethics novice and the experienced person will both gain from this module. I highly recommend it.”
Prof Sharon Kling MBChB DCH(SA), FCPaed, MMed, MPhil (Applied Ethics)
Consultant Paediatrician
Tygerberg Hospital
Part-time Lecturer
Centre for Medical Ethics and Law, University of Stellenbosch 

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Loss, Grief and Bereavement

In children’s palliative care both the sick child and their family members are affected by loss and death. It is the one topic most of us dread discussing and avoid whenever possible.

Zoë Clark-Coates, grief expert and founder of  The Mariposa Trust writes:
“One of the things I have learnt on my journey is the way we view grief and loss, especially baby loss, depends on our personal views of death and life. If one values every life, whether it be short or long, that changes how we grieve and importantly how we live. If we want to embrace life, we also need to accept death; the two go hand in hand and if we can lose the fear surrounding this often taboo subject, we can become open to the emotions that grief and loss bring.”  

An important requirement in being able to walk with others in their grief journey is to be aware of what constitutes loss, your own experience of loss and your attitude towards loss, death and grief. It is also important to understand that when children experience loss, it affects their sense of security and they lack the skills to help them adjust to situations of loss. This can make them more vulnerable to the effects of loss than adults.

By the end of this course you should be able to:

  • Understand the meaning of loss, grief, mourning and bereavement.
  • Be aware of the many models and theories of grief and how they inform support for those who grieve.
  • Appreciate the difference between the ways adults and children experience grief.
  • Understand how children experience grief at different ages and how best to support them.
  • Understand anticipatory grief and how to manage it.
  • Understand complicated and delayed grief and how to manage them.
  • Describe ways to support families through grief, loss and bereavement.
  • Appreciate the importance of memory work.

R350

CPD Points
Level 1: 6 CEUs (3 Ethics and 3 General) from CMSA

Why take the course?
“I was impressed by the amount of  time and care that has been invested in the creation of this course as well as its accessibility. It contains a wealth of information and I encourage anyone with an interest in this wide subject to enroll in this course and then to have the benefit of returning to it to refresh one’s memory as well as to use it as a very helpful resource.”
Di Burger
Registered Family Counsellor with 30+ years of experience in Palliative Care & Bereavement Counselling Support
Paedspal

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Holistic Assessment and Palliative Care Planning

Price: R350

Dr Justin Amery, author of the Oxford Textbook on Children’s Palliative Care in Africa wrote: “A child can suffer for many different reasons. A child has many different needs, any of which, if blocked or adversely affected, will cause the child to suffer in one way or another. Now the reality is that, in most African health care settings, we will not have the resources to meet all of the child’s needs, but that doesn’t mean we should not know what they are.”  He goes on to say,  “Good children’s palliative care planning means hoping for the best and preparing for the worst. Without a full assessment and an agreed, achievable and realistic care plan it is very difficult to provide good children’s palliative care.” 

With this course we hope to empower those who work with children needing palliative care to gain the skills, knowledge and a number of helpful tools to carry out holistic assessments of children and family members and to use the information gathered to develop realistic palliative care plans that, when needed, will include advance care and terminal care plans.

Key points of learning within this course include:

  • Holistic assessment as a vital component of good children’s palliative care and future planning.
  • How to approach and carry out an assessment of a child and family to ascertain their physical, spiritual, social and emotional needs.
  • Raising awareness of available resources and tools to assist in holistic assessment and palliative care planning.
  • The differences between palliative planning, advance care planning and a terminal can planning and how they integrate.
  • The key elements of a palliative care plan, an advance care plan and a terminal plan.
  • How to approach a discussion with the family on goals of care and the value of planning in advance for difficult and emergency situations.
  • The value of shared decision making.
  • Ways to overcome challenges and barriers to good palliative care planning.
  • The steps and processes for developing a palliative care plan, an advance care plan and a terminal care plan.

R350

CPD Points
This course is presently under review for CPD points

Symptom management in children’s palliative care

By the end of this course you should be able to:

  • Describe the difference between a sign and a symptom.
  • Describe the general approach to symptom management.
  • Manage shortness of breath.
  • Manage excessive respiratory secretions.
  • Manage nausea and vomiting.
  • Manage constipation.
  • Manage anxiety and depression.
  • Manage fatigue.
  • Manage anorexia and cachexia.
  • Prevent and manage pressures sores.
  • Manage fungating malodorous wounds

COURSE UNDER DEVELOPMENT

Perinatal and Neonatal Palliative Care

By the end of this course you should be able to:

  • Define the concepts of Perinatal and Neonatal Palliative Care
  • Identify the conditions that would benefit from perinatal and neonatal palliative care
  • Provide care and support to families in the antenatal period
  • Provide care and support to families during labour and birth
  • Provide care and support to families during the postnatal period

COURSE UNDER DEVELOPMENT

End-of-Life Care for Children

By the end of this course you should be able to:

  • Define end-of-life care in children.
  • Recognise that a child is dying or close to death.
  • Explain the meaning of a “good death”.
  • Know how to use and develop a terminal care plan for end-of-life care.
  • Discuss end-of-life management options and planning.
  • Support the family at end-of-life

COURSE UNDER DEVELOPMENT