Friday, July 6, 2012
Mysore Project: Palliative Care and ILR
My summer in Mysore was spent working in SVYM's newly established palliative care unit. As an Industrial and Labor Relations student with little to no health background, I was initially a bit nervous my skill set would be incompatible with the tasks I would be assigned… I could not have been more wrong.
Taking the city bus to work.
As I learned, only 20% of palliative, or end of life, care is physical aid, and the other 80% is a combination of psychological, economic, social, and spiritual aid. During my time here, I had the opportunity to go on field visits with health care volunteers and interact (as much as the language barrier would permit) with patients. Actually getting to witness first hand the interplay between health conditions and socioeconomic conditions was something that left a lasting impact on me. Work, and the ability to sustain one's economic independence, was something that many of our patients could no longer do, which as an ILR student was a prominent concern.
Working in the office.
My primary project for the summer entailed creating a training manual for volunteers that encompassed everything they would ever have to know or do. This included everything from basic nursing to social entitlement schemes to how to communicate with patients. Applying my human resources knowledge, I was also able to create a presentation that could be used by trainers to teach volunteers, as well as pre/post tests to gauge effectiveness of trainings and assess volunteers’ skills. As an ILR student working in the unfamiliar world of doctors, nurses, and health care volunteers, this project was an eye opening experience, and it was rewarding to apply all that ILR has taught me to such a worthy cause.
With my supervisor, Neal.