Distance learning courses for medical volunteers
On 16 November, in the Centre for Palliative Medicine of Moscow Department of Health, a new course has been designed to help medical volunteers to work with an NGO.
The multimedia course Journey to Medical Volunteering allows learners to accompany the main characters as they pass through all the stages on the way to volunteering.
The training consists of the modules The Path of a Volunteer, The Hospice, Key Aspects of Voluntary Work and The Path of a Medic. Throughout the course, the volunteers’ stories are interspersed with detailed advice from experts: how to choose an NGO, how you can prepare for unforeseeable situations and so on. Upon completion of the course, the user takes a test on the material covered.
The course The Path of a Volunteer is made specifically for those who are getting ready to take the first step towards volunteering in a medical organisation. Learners will find out how to overcome fears and doubts when beginning volunteer work.
The course The Hospice is for those who are planning to work in a hospice. The course has been developed with participation from the foundation Vera and is founded on real conversations with hospice patients, medics and volunteers.
The course Key Aspects of Voluntary Work is the most informative course. It includes the following topics: Who are hospital volunteers and how to become one, What volunteers give patients, What hospital work gives a volunteer and Volunteer cooperation with other participants of the process.
The distance learning course The Path of a Medic is developed specially for medical staff and is accessible only to them. It is an educational programme for those who are interested in successfully collaborating with an NCO (non-commercial organisation) and volunteers.
The courses have been developed by employees of the Centre for the Development of Health Care of the University of Governance, Moscow, together with the Moscow Committee of Social Connections in collaboration with experts from the Foundation for the Assistance of Hospices Vera, the fund Gift of Life and leading clinics: Centre Dmitry Rogachev, the Morozovsky Children’s Hospital, the Children’s Clinical Hospital G. N. Speransky and others. The work on the course was carried out over a year and a half. In its development, more than 40 experts took part.
Journey to Volunteering, in the opinion of the founder of the Foundation for the Assistance of Hospices Vera, Niuta Federmesser, is the first step towards a new, patient-oriented system of work with patients.
“High-quality palliative care is impossible without volunteers. Thanks to them, our patients feel that they are living, not just surviving. At the end of their life, people need non-medical care no less than morphine,” says the Director of the Centre for Palliative Care of the Moscow Department of Health, Niuta Federmesser.
“Why are volunteers, who are so important, not allowed into medical organisations?” Federmesser asks course users. “Because you need to spend time and energy on them. Thanks to this course, ready prepared volunteers will come to medical organisations.”
The President of the Foundation Vera, Yulia Matveeva, emphasised that the new distance course will unburden medical personnel who will only have to explain individual nuances of the voluntary work.
Vera is the only non-commercial organisation in Russia which systematically helps hospices and their volunteers throughout the country. There are now more than 200 active volunteers helping Moscow hospices and children’s palliative departments. Introductory meetings for volunteers take place every month. Anybody can register for a meeting by filling in the form on the site.