In the treatment and care of patients, the family represents a great resource. The Diploma Module at University College Lillebaelt shows a new way to involve the family.
For a long time, the health-sector, has been characterized by ’patient-centered care’. It is changing.
– There is an increasing awareness of the importance of close relatives when a family member is ill, says Birte Østergaard, Associate Professor at the Research Unit of Nursing, University of Southern Denmark (SDU).
In collaboration with University College Lillebaelt (UCL) the university’s research unit is behind the development of the diploma module “Family-oriented care and treatment”.
Resource and burden
The education program focuses on the family as a resource – but also as a burden – when a family member is affected by serious or chronic illness.
– There has, in the healthcare sector, been a natural focus on family involvement, when children suffer from illness. Involving and thinking the family into the care and treatment course, if a spouse or parent gets ill, is new, says Kirsten Honoré, from University College Lillebaelt.
The program has a cross-curricular aim and is targeted towards nurses as well as occupational therapists and physiotherapists. The students gain the tools and methods to assess and tackle the complexities of the family, when a family member is seriously ill.
The educating path
It is, among other things, about the ability to plan and conduct family assessments and health promotion conversations.
– Tools have been developed to structure the interviews, focusing on both the family and the ill – not on one at the expense of the other. However, it requires extensive training to cope with these concepts, says Birte Østergaard, University of Southern Denmark.
The Diploma Module “Family-oriented care and treatment” begins fall 2015.