Allison Perry

By

College: Medicine

Denying Death Its Strangeness: Hospice Educators to Speak to UK Students

Published: Mar 22, 2013

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 22, 2012) — University of Kentucky students will get a chance to learn more about becoming empathic healthcare professionals from a couple experiencing the real-life need for palliative care.

 

Professor David Oliver of the University of Missouri has spent much of his life studying and teaching about aging and end-of-life care. His wife, Debbie, is also a professor at Missouri and has worked with the University of Kentucky's Elaine Wittenberg-Lyles on more than 50 studies related to palliative care during the past 10 years.

 

In 2011, David himself became a patient when he was diagnosed with Stage IV nasopharyngeal cancer. He decided to use his experiences as the ultimate teaching opportunity — the chance for an educator to experience and chronicle terminal cancer from the patient perspective. Joined by Debra, who provides the caregiver's perspective, they have shared their story through a personal videoblog, which led to a guest appearance on CBS This Morning with Charlie Rose last year.

 

Together, the Olivers provide an overview of the need for palliative care, the challenges of their personal journey, and the importance of sharing 'teachable moments' about cancer care with other patients, families, and interprofessional healthcare team members.

 

The lecture is a prime opportunity for students to receive a real-life perspective on the importance of palliative care and empathic communication in the health care professional/caregiver relationship. In a recent study authored by Wittenberg-Lyles in partnership with Debra Oliver, the research team found a distinct lack of empathic communication and 'missed opportunities' for such communication between caregivers and hospice team members.

 

The lecture is open to students and takes place Wednesday, March 27, at noon in HG611, the auditorium on the 6th floor of UK Chandler Hospital. Lunch will be provided, so an RSVP is required by Monday, March 25. To RSVP, click here

 

The event is presented by the UK Center for Interprofessional HealthCare Education, Research and Practice in collaboration with the Markey Cancer Center and College of Communications. 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, (859) 323-2399 or allison.perry@uky.edu 

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